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Latest by G. Torbet

SpaceX's Starship spacecraft atop the Super Heavy booster.

FAA review of SpaceX Starship launch delayed by another month

SpaceX won't be able to test its Starship rocket for some time, as the company will have to wait for clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Conceptual image of meteoroids delivering nucleobases to ancient Earth. The nucleobases are represented by structural diagrams with hydrogen atoms as white spheres, carbon as black, nitrogen as blue and oxygen as red.

Could the earliest building blocks of life have come from space?

Recent research has shown that all five of the basic building blocks of DNA have been found in meteorites.
Mars Sample Return drop test.

Watch NASA drop capsule from 1,200 feet to test Mars Sample Return system

NASA has an ambitious plan to bring a piece of Mars back to Earth for study. And that requires new hardware -- which requires serious testing.
Engineering images of sharply focused stars in the field of view of each instrument demonstrate that the telescope is fully aligned and in focus.

James Webb Space Telescope fully aligned and capturing crisp images

NASA has shared an image showing the sharpness check of all of Webb's instruments, showing that they are all crisp and properly focused.
This illustration shows NASA's InSight spacecraft with its instruments deployed on the Martian surface.

Largest marsquakes yet detected using InSight data

Researchers have identified two of the largest marsquakes seen to date using data from NASA's InSight lander.
This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope features two merging galaxies in the VV-689 system, nicknamed the Angel Wing.

Hubble captures an angelic merging of galaxies

This week's image from the Hubble Space Telescope show two galaxies which are in the process of merging together, in the system VV-689.
An artist's concept of the Lucy Mission.

NASA has a plan to fix Lucy spacecraft’s solar array problem

NASA's Lucy spacecraft has a problem with one of its solar arrays, which has not locked into place properly. Now there's a plan to fix it.
The James Webb Space Telescope.

James Webb’s mirrors are almost, but not quite, cooled

With James Webb's MIRI instrument now cooled to its operating temperature, the telescope is approaching its final temperature as it mirrors cool as well.
The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour crew ship is pictured docked to the Harmony module's space-facing international docking adapter.

Axiom-1 to depart from ISS today after extra days in space

Four crew members of the first fully private space tourism mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Axiom-1, are set to head home today.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating its 32nd birthday with a stunning look at an unusual close-knit collection of five galaxies, called the Hickson Compact Group 40. This snapshot reflects a special moment in their lifetimes as they fall together before they merge.

Hubble turns 32, continues to reveal the wonders of space

Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has helped uncovered secrets of the universe as well as producing some absolutely stunning images of space.
The Large Hadron Collider tunnel at point 1.

World’s largest particle collider is now even more powerful

The Large Hadron Collider, the world-famous particle accelerator, has restarted after a three year break to perform maintenance and upgrades.
Space Debris

Scientists call for environmental protections for space

Scientists are calling for environmental protections of space to be put in place to account for the increasing number of satellite launches.
Wildflowers frame a view of the Artemis I Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft on Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA’s huge moon rocket is heading off launchpad next week

NASA is getting ready to rehouse its Space Launch System rocket following three attempts to complete wet dress rehearsal testing.
The spiral galaxy M91 fills the frame of this Wide Field Camera 3 observation from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. M91 lies approximately 55 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices and – as is evident in this image – is a barred spiral galaxy. While M91’s prominent bar makes for a spectacular galactic portrait, it also hides an astronomical monstrosity. Like our own galaxy, M91 contains a supermassive black hole at its center. A 2009 study using archival Hubble data found that this central black hole weighs somewhere between 9.6 and 38 million times as much as the Sun.

Hubble captures a serene-looking galaxy with a monster at its heart

This week's image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy M91, a barred spiral galaxy in constellation of Coma Berenices.
The 11-person crew aboard the ISS.

How to watch Axiom-1 space tourists return from the ISS on Saturday

With the first fully private space tourism mission to the International Space Station drawing to a close, the Axiom-1 crew will soon be heading back to Earth.
Artwork of the binary star system RS Ophiuchi: Matter flows from the red giant onto the white dwarf.

Hungry white dwarf feeding on red giant creates epic nova explosion

Astronomers using a pair of ground-based MAGIC telescopes have observed a huge nova explosion created by a pair of stars called RS Ophiuchi.
Mars Perseverance Sol 388 - Right Mastcam-Z Camera: NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its Right Mastcam-Z camera. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras located high on the rover's mast. This image was acquired on March 24, 2022 (Sol 388) at the local mean solar time of 08:08:28.

What the Perseverance rover is hoping to find in the Jezero delta

A NASA scientist has explained how studying Jezero delta could help understand the history of Mars or find evidence if there was ever life on the planet.
COSMO-SkyMed mission ready for launch.

How to watch SpaceX launch a U.S. spy satellite today

SpaceX will shortly be launching a spy satellite for the U.S. in a mission called NROL-85. Here's how to watch.
This artist’s conception shows the fully unfolded James Webb Space Telescope in space.

James Webb researcher on how telescope will investigate exoplanet atmospheres

A researcher who will be using the James Webb Space Telescope shares how they will investigate exoplanet atmospheres.
The faintest visible stars in this raw L’LORRI image are roughly 17th magnitude, 50,000 times fainter than the unaided human eye can see. Image brightness levels have been adjusted to enhance visibility of faint stars. The exposure time was 10 seconds. Keen observers will notice that the stars are slightly elongated in this relatively unprocessed image; the Lucy team has techniques to mitigate this effect, and the optical quality is sufficient for accomplishing the science goals of the mission.

NASA’s asteroid investigator Lucy tests out its four cameras

NASA's Lucy mission launched last year on its trip to the Trojan asteroids, located in the orbit of Jupiter, and now NASA has shared some of its first images.
SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts.

Launch for Crew-4 mission to ISS confirmed for next weekend

A new batch of astronauts are getting ready to head to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Crew-4 mission.
Chinese astronauts Zhai Zhigang (C), Wang Yaping (R) and Ye Guangfu will carry out the Shenzhou-13 spaceflight mission, and Zhai will be the commander, announced the China Manned Space Agency at a press conference on Oct. 14, 2021.

Chinese astronaut trio return to Earth after six-month mission

Three Chinese astronauts have returned safely to Earth following a six-month mission on China's new space station.
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher at Launch Complex 39B, Monday, April 4, 2022.

NASA still struggling to fuel its Space Launch System rocket

NASA had to call off its third attempt at a test of fueling its new moon rocket due to a liquid hydrogen leak.
Artist's conception of the James Webb Space Telescope

One of James Webb’s first targets is Jupiter. Here’s why

The James Webb Space Telescope is often called the successor to Hubble, and is built to peer into deep space -- so why is NASA aiming it at Jupiter?
Composite showing thermal images of Neptune taken between 2006 and 2020.

Neptune’s temperatures are fluctuating, and no one knows why

Something strange is happening on Neptune: Researchers have found surprising swings in the planet's temperatures which they can't explain.
The lazily winding spiral arms of the galaxy NGC 5921 snake across this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This galaxy lies approximately 80 million light-years from Earth, and much like our own galaxy, the Milky Way, contains a prominent bar – a central linear band of stars. Roughly half of all spiral galaxies may contain bars. These bars affect their parent galaxies by fueling star formation and influencing the motion of stars and interstellar gas.

Hubble captures a snake-like spiral galaxy in the constellation of Serpens

The image from the Hubble Space Telescope shared this week shows a serpentine galaxy with winding, snake-like spiral arms.
This is an artist's illustration of the planet KELT-20b which orbits a blue-white star. The giant planet is so close to its star (5 million miles) the torrent of ultraviolet radiation from the star heats the planet's atmosphere to over 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

This extreme exoplanet’s atmosphere is being sunburned by its host star

Some of the most extreme exoplanets we've found are a type called hot Jupiters, where high temperatures lead to some weird and wonderful effects.
Unusual ridge networks on Mars may provide clues about the history of the Red Planet.

Citizen scientists are helping to map Mars’s strange ridge features

Members of the public are helping to map unusual ridge features in the Jezero crater on Mars, near to the area where the Perseverance rover is exploring.
A zoom-in image of galaxy HD1.

This galaxy is a mind-bending 13.5 billion light-years away

An international team of astronomers has identified the most distant astronomical object ever observed: A galaxy 13.5 billion light-years away,
NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its Mast Camera, or Mastcam, to survey these wind-sharpened rocks, called ventifacts, on March 15, 2022, the 3,415th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. The team has informally described these patches of ventifacts as “gator-back” rocks because of their scaly appearance.

Curiosity rover nopes out of region of sharp Mars rocks

The Curiosity rover has come across a challenge on Mars: The densest region of sharp rocks that the rover's NASA drivers have ever seen.
The Moon is pictured (bottom left) as the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour approaches the station with four Axiom Mission 1 astronauts.

First space tourism mission arrives at International Space Station

The first fully private space tourism mission has arrived at the International Space Station.
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher.

NASA pushes its mega moon rocket test back to next week

After two false starts, NASA is hoping that third time will be the charm for the wet dress rehearsal of its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
MIRI is inspected in the giant clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, in 2012.

James Webb’s MIRI instrument about to face most daunting challenge yet

NASA has shared an update on the process of getting James Webb's MIRI instrument down to temperature and ready for alignment.
The SuperBIT balloon in flight.

Telescopes on balloons could be a game-changer for astronomy

Rather than relying on expensive rockets to lift telescopes into orbit, a few innovative astronomers are now exploring a new option: High altitude balloons.