Sarah Fecht
at 11:24 AM Dec 15 2016

It's official: SpaceX is not going to meet its 2017 deadline to carry its first astronauts into space. The first crewed flight of the Dragon capsule has been pushed back from August 2017 to May 2018.

Sarah Fecht
at 11:24 AM Dec 15 2016
Space // 

Humanity has gotten pretty good at tracking down planets in other solar systems. Between 2009 and 2013, the Kepler telescope discovered thousands of worlds orbiting distant suns. But finding out what those exoplanets are like has been more of a challenge. Luckily, we're getting better at it.

Sophie Bushwick
at 10:30 AM Dec 8 2016
Space // 

Cassini just entered the second-to-last phase of its mission, where it will perform so-called ring-grazing orbits (shown in yellow). The blue loops represent orbits that it made previously in its nearly 20-year mission. Next year, it will enter the grand finale phase, which will end with Cassini's destruction.

Leigh Fletcher
at 09:19 AM Dec 7 2016
Space // 

JunoCAM images of Jupiter's northern and southern polar regions.

Excerpt
at 11:16 AM Dec 2 2016
Space // 

"To travel in space is to be awestruck, over and over and over."--Don Pettit, Spaceborne. Don Pettit and his crewmates flew into space three times, capturing about 600,000 photos from their shuttle missions and long-term stays on the International Space Station. In his new book, Spaceborne, the astronaut/photographer highlights some of the best of the collection, leading to page after page of mind-blowingly beautiful space imagery. This is a good one for the coffee table. Popular Science's photo director, Thom Payne, chose 10 of his favorite Spaceborne images. Here are his picks, with captions excerpted from the book.

Sarah Fecht
at 10:13 AM Nov 18 2016
Space // 

Talk about a change of heart. Sputnik Planitia, the icy plain that forms part of Pluto's "heart," has dramatically changed places since it was created 4 billion years ago.

Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer
at 09:29 AM Nov 18 2016

An x-ray pulsar forms when a dense neutron star's strong gravitational field allows it to suck in matter from the other star in the binary system. The impact of stellar material forms x-ray hotspots on the neutron star that shift as it rotates—that's what pulses are.

 
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