Talking space robot Kirobo returns to Earth

Feb 13, 2015

Talking space robot Kirobo returns to Earth

A tiny robot that became the first android to converse with an astronaut in space has returned to Earth after 18 months in orbit. Kirobo — which is roughly the size of a chihuahua — hitched a ride back from the International Space Station ...

Europe launches prototype space plane

Feb 12, 2015

Europe launches prototype space plane

Europe launched a prototype space plane Wednesday in a strategy to join an elite club able to launch a spacecraft and return it safely to Earth. A Vega rocket lifted off from the European Space Agency’s base in Kourou, French Guiana, bearing the novel ...

Nation's first astronaut, Chiaki Mukai, honored by France

Feb 4, 2015

Nation's first astronaut, Chiaki Mukai, honored by France

Astronaut Chiaki Mukai was awarded France’s highest honor, the Legion of Honor, on Tuesday for her contributions to strengthening cooperation between France and Japan in the field of space exploration. Mukai, 62, became Japan’s first female astronaut when she boarded the space shuttle Columbia ...

Feb 1, 2015

Scientists abandon highly publicized claim about cosmic find

Scientists who made headlines last March by announcing that they had found long-sought evidence about the early universe are now abandoning that claim. New data show that their cosmic observations no longer back up that conclusion, they say. The original announcement caused a sensation ...

Jan 27, 2015

Boeing, SpaceX will beat Russia on price for astronaut rides

NASA expects to save millions of dollars sending astronauts to the International Space Station, once its commercial crew program starts flying in a couple of years. SpaceX and Boeing said Monday that they are on track to carry out their first manned test flights ...

NASA spacecraft almost to Pluto, set for photo ops

Jan 24, 2015

NASA spacecraft almost to Pluto, set for photo ops

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has traveled 3 billion miles (5 billion km) and is nearing the end of its nine-year journey to Pluto. Sunday, it begins photographing the mysterious, unexplored, icy world once deemed a planet. The first pictures will reveal little more than ...