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Space Exploration

Space exploration is a broad topic covering many facets of deep-space and planetary science. Learn about space probes, Mars Rovers, SETI and other out-of-this-world subjects.

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Small, Alien Worlds Come in Two Flavors: Super-Earths and Mini-Neptunes

Get ready for a new branch in our galaxy's planetary family tree.

Elon Musk Lays Out Plans to Colonize Mars

Could humans really colonize Mars within the next 50 years? Elon Musk seems to think so.

NASA Welcomes Its 2017 Class of New Astronaut Recruits

NASA's newest astronauts-in-training will have to learn how to fly a jet and speak Russian. It's going to be a long two years.

Gravitational Waves Detected for a Third Time, Revealing Another Black Hole Collision

Thanks to gravitational wave observatories, we're entering a new era of astronomy, one in which the dark universe will finally be revealed.

Cosmic Rays Recreated in the Lab, With a Goal of Safer Space Missions

Researchers used laser-plasma-based accelerators to simulate the sort of radiation that astronauts and spacecraft might encounter in outer space.

Comets Are Oxygen Factories

And that actually might pose a problem when it comes to the search for life on other planets.

Turning Martian Soil Into Building Blocks for Colonists

If we're going to colonize Mars, we're going to need to figure out how to live off the land. Martian soil might be strangely suited for that task.

Event Horizon Telescope Getting Historic Look at Milky Way's Black Hole

The "virtual telescope" is first getting up close and personal with Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.

Gamers Can Help Scientists Hunt for Real Exoplanets in 'EVE Online'

European scientists are inviting gamers to become citizen scientists, sifting through real astronomical data to spot undiscovered planets orbiting other stars.

5 Secrets About the Soviet Space Program

After the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I in 1957, the space race was on. And what followed was decades of secrecy that dominated its space program.

NASA Study Discovers 'Space Gene' and More

The first results are in from two groundbreaking NASA studies. What they show could have huge impacts on the future mission to Mars.

Stephen Hawking Plans to Send Tiny Nanocraft to Alpha Centauri

Hawking is working with NASA and a few high rollers to send a tiny, unmanned spacecraft to our closest star system.

Getting Rid of the Right Stuff: The NASA Space Poop Challenge

The space agency is looking for your help in figuring out how to get rid of astronauts' bodily waste. And there's $30,000 in it for you if your idea wins.

Could Our Spacecraft Accidentally Ignite an Alien World's Entire Atmosphere?

Outer planets in our solar system have atmospheres made up of flammable chemicals that can cause explosions on Earth. Could a rocketship, or electric spark, ignite them?

Earthlings Crowdsource the Search for Martian 'Spiders'

Earth's next-door neighbor has a lot of weird geological formations, like spiders, to map, but only so many scientists who can do it. That's where you come in.

Can You Have a Baby on Mars?

Elton's always maintained that Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids. Is he right?

Comet Strike Could Explain PETM, Earth's Apocalyptic Ancient Climate Spike

Ten million years after the dinosaurs, a comet strike altered the climate, research shows, causing the PETM extinction event. We're affecting Earth in similar ways today.

Let's Celebrate Rosetta After Its Crash-landing in a Comet Pit

The historic spacecraft Rosetta ended its mission today of studying comet 67P. Along the way, it taught us a few things about how our solar system may have begun.

Jupiter's Moon Europa Erupts Water Vapor (Maybe)

And suggestions of water elsewhere in the solar system are always pretty darn exciting.

'I'll Take a Reusable Rocket Trip for $43 Million, Please'

It's been a busy week for SpaceX. On Tuesday, the company announced its first customer for its reusable rockets. On Thursday, a SpaceX rocket and its payload blew up.

Closest Exoplanet Yet Confirmed By European Southern Observatory

And guess what? Proxima b, our nearest rocky exoplanet cousin, is in the all-important habitable zone, too.

Large Hadron Having a Smashing Good Time in 2016

What's up with the world's most famous particle accelerator almost eight years after it came online?

More Signs Point to Venus as Habitable in its Distant Past

A new NASA climate model sheds light on the early years of our neighbor, suggesting a period billions of years long that could've sustained life.

We Still Love You From Afar, Curiosity

It's hard to believe you've already been hanging out on Mars for four years now, Curiosity!

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