Space

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The US space agency NASA awarded contracts to four companies on Thursday to collect lunar samples for US$1 to US$15,000, rock-bottom prices that are intended to set a precedent for future exploitation of space resources by the private sector. “I think it’s kind of amazing that we can buy lunar regolith from four companies for
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Astronomers have mapped about a million previously undiscovered galaxies beyond the Milky Way, in the most detailed survey of the southern sky ever carried out using radio waves. The Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (or RACS) has placed the CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder radio telescope (ASKAP) firmly on the international astronomy map. While past surveys have
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In July of 2015, NASA’s New Horizons probe made history when it became the first mission ever to conduct a close flyby of Pluto. This was followed by the spacecraft making the first-ever encounter with a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) – known as Arrokoth (AKA 2014 MU69) – on 31 December 2018. In addition, its unique position in the outer Solar System has
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One of the world’s most iconic astronomical observatories has fallen apart beyond repair. Now it threatens to collapse entirely. Following two unexpected cable breaks, engineers have determined that the Arecibo Observatory’s 1,000-foot (305-metre) radio telescope is so structurally unsound that any workers who try to fix it would risk their lives. So the National Science Foundation,
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Wow. A low-flying space rock set a record last Friday (appropriately, the 13th), when 2020 VT4 passed just under 400 kilometers (250 miles) over the Southern Pacific. The asteroid was spotted by the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) survey at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii in the early morning hours of Saturday, November 14, just