Jul 25, 2014

Are we alone? Alien pollution might reveal the answer

Earthlings often wonder if life exists on other planets, and researchers said Wednesday that hunting for traces of pollution from distant worlds could provide the answer. Under certain conditions, astronomers in the next decade might be able to detect the presence of an industrialized ...

45 years after Apollo, U.S. split on lunar landings

Jul 21, 2014

45 years after Apollo, U.S. split on lunar landings

Forty-five years after the first Apollo lunar landing, the United States remains divided about the moon’s role in future human space exploration. Ten more U.S. astronauts followed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s July 20, 1969, visit to the moon before the Apollo program was ...

Jul 17, 2014

Compressed diamond yields clues on mega-planets

Physicists in the United States on Wednesday reported they had compressed diamond to a density greater than that of lead, a technical feat that yields insights into the secrets of giant planets. Diamond is the hardest, strongest form of carbon and the least compressible ...

Jul 4, 2014

Scientists admit error in spotting two planets

U.S. scientists said Thursday that two distant Earth-like planets, which some believed might be able to harbor life, do not actually exist and that astronomers who described them were confused by a star’s sunspots. The purported planets, Gliese d and g, about 22 light-years ...

Bum parachute mars U.S. 'saucer' test

Jun 29, 2014

Bum parachute mars U.S. 'saucer' test

A helium balloon carrying an experimental saucer-shaped NASA spacecraft floated off a launch tower at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, on Saturday to test landing systems for future missions to Mars. A novel inflatable shield to burn off speed ...

ISS astronauts to get custom espresso maker

Jun 28, 2014

ISS astronauts to get custom espresso maker

Talk about a cosmic caffeine jolt. The International Space Station is getting a real Italian espresso machine. Astronauts of all nationalities — but especially the Italians — have long grumbled about the tepid instant coffee served in pouches and drunk with straws high above ...

NASA hoping to catch tiny asteroid

Jun 22, 2014

NASA hoping to catch tiny asteroid

NASA is zeroing in on the asteroids it wants to capture, haul near the moon and have astronauts visit. Officials on Thursday described a prime candidate: a tiny asteroid that whizzed about 7,600 miles (12,250 kilometers) above Earth in 2011. At 20 feet (6 ...