Sarah Fecht
at 09:54 AM Jan 25 2017

After a 10-year journey, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft sped past Pluto for just a few short hours in July 2015. It was going far too fast to enter an orbit around the dwarf planet—let alone land on it—but along the way it grabbed some pretty amazing photos of this mysterious world.

Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer
at 09:54 AM Jan 25 2017

This picture of a landing gear assembly on a lab test rig shows how big it is; the foot pad's diameter is easily 2.5-3 feet.

Sarah Fecht
at 09:44 AM Jan 25 2017

This team from Israel was the first to book its ticket to the moon. Instead of rolling like a rover, this dishwasher-sized spacecraft will "hop" using retro-thrusters to move 500 meters across the lunar surface. SpaceIL has commissioned a ride with Spaceflight Industries.

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.

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.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 11:19 AM Nov 2 2016

It is harder to learn to fly a second time. Virgin Galactic, the private spaceflight firm headed by billionaire Richard Branson, lost its first SpaceShipTwo in a pilot-caused crashed in 2014, setting back dreams of passenger spaceflight. The new SpaceShipTwo, named VSS Unity (and not SpaceShipThree), was unveiled in February. Today, slung beneath the wing of its WhiteKnightTwo mothership Eve, Unity took to the sky for its second-ever flight.

Kate Baggaley
at 11:19 AM Nov 2 2016

When humans finally set foot on the dusty terrain of Mars, they will not be travelling alone. Some of the astronauts on future missions will be too small to be seen with the naked eye. But that doesn't mean they won't have a vital role to play.

 
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