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LightSail 2 marks 3rd anniversary as end of mission approaches

A solar-sailing mission is now marking three years of spaceflight, but is unlikely to celebrate a fourth anniversary. The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 is a crowdfunded solar sail that launched June 25, 2019. It was expected to last a year in an assessment of how well a spacecraft could perform using only the power of …

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SpaceX Lifts 200 Ton Rocket In Air As It Races To Historic Hot Fire Test

An image shared by Elon Musk earlier this month shows all 33 Raptor rocket engines installed on Starship. Image: Elon Musk/Twitter As part of its launch campaign for its Mars rocket, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) lifted the Super Heavy booster prototype of its Starship next generation rocket with a crane in its testing facilities …

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Mars Express Is Getting a Long-Overdue Software Upgrade

The European Space Agency (ESA) is updating the software on a critical part of the Mars Express spacecraft for the first time since it was deployed to the Red Planet in 2003. ESA says(Opens in a new window) the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) instrument “is receiving a major software upgrade …

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Stunning Mars photos by Curiosity rover show climate shift

A venerable Red-Planet rover might be spotting signs of the Martian climate drying up in ancient times. The long-running NASA Curiosity mission, which will reach its 10th Earth-year anniversary on the Red Planet this August, is making its way up the slopes of Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons) to trace the changing climate of Mars over …

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New bacterium roughly the size, shape of an eyelash smashes size record

Ca. Thiomargarita magnifica, discovered in the French Caribbean mangroves is a member of the genus Thiomargarita.”/> Enlarge / bacteria, Ca. Thiomargarita magnificadiscovered in the French Caribbean mangroves is a member of the genus Thiomargarita. Tomas Tyml Clinging to sunken debris in shallow, marine mangrove forests in the French Caribbean, tiny thread-like organisms—perfectly visible to the …

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The Mars Express spacecraft is finally getting a Windows 98 upgrade

Engineers at the European Space Agency (ESA) are getting ready for a Windows 98 upgrade on an orbiter circling Mars. The Mars Express spacecraft has been operating for more than 19 years, and the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) instrument onboard has been using software built using Windows 98. Thankfully for …

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‘Emerging super Crab’ may be most powerful pulsar discovered

Astronomers have discovered what might be the most powerful pulsar ever observed. They suspect the newfound object, VT 1137-0337, is a pulsar wind nebula, a neutron stars that accelerates nearby charged particles at close to the speed of light. The astronomers spotted the pulsar in a series of images from the Very Large Array Sky …

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When do the planets align? How to watch the 2022 planetary alignment from the UK and how often it happens

Space fans will be excited to hear that a rare phenomenon is happening in the night skies. Five of our planetary neighbors – Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury – will be aligning, and will be able to be seen by the naked eye. Here’s everything you need to know. When is the planetary alignment? The …

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