Sarah Fecht
at 11:54 AM Apr 24 2017
Space // 

After 20 years, thousands of gorgeous photos, and a whole lot of science, the Cassini spacecraft is finally ready to retire. But there'll be no relaxing days on the beach for this old spacecraft; instead, it will go out in a blaze of glory. More specifically, NASA's planning to crash it into Saturn's atmosphere, where it will melt and vaporize.

Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer
at 11:54 AM Apr 24 2017

At 7:41 p.m. local time, the Tianzhou 1 robotic cargo ship blasted off on a Long March 7 rocket from the Wenchang Space Launch Center on Hainan Island. Now in orbit, it will soon rendezvous with the Tiangong 2 space station, in yet another first for the Chinese space program.

Sarah Fecht
at 11:54 AM Apr 24 2017

Although the night sky often seems so peaceful and still, a closer look reveals constant movement and change. The Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) in California looks for ephemeral phenomena in the heavens, like stars that fluctuate in brightness, or planets passing in front of their stars.

Kendra Pierre-Louis
at 12:22 PM Apr 13 2017

If space travel were gymnastics, we'd say that Expedition 50—which returned early Monday morning from the International Space Station (ISS), stuck the landing. 

Sarah Fecht
at 11:22 AM Apr 7 2017

A supermassive black hole lurks at the center of our galaxy, but we've never seen it. We know it's there, and that it has the mass of about 4 million suns, and that the stars in our galaxy revolve around it. But no one could tell you exactly what it looks like.

Sarah Fecht
at 14:35 PM Mar 31 2017
Space // 

On March 30, the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket sent its second payload into space, after having launched and landed in April 2016. This achievement is an important milestone in the company's road to creating a reusable launch system—and a feat that's 15 years in the making. The launch and subsequent landing on a drone ship proves, as SpaceX CEO Elon Musk noted, "you can fly and re-fly an orbit-class booster."

Sarah Fecht
at 14:35 PM Mar 31 2017

SpaceX made history by launching a used rocket booster on its second mission, then bringing it back for a safe landing on a drone ship. It's a big deal for the company that's betting on reusable rockets to dramatically reduce the cost of going to space.

 
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