Best Space Stories of The Week!

The south pole of Jupiter is seen from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometers) in this enhanced color mosaic of images from NASA’s JunoCam. Cyclones up to 600 miles wide (1,000 km) are visible.

Juno gets a first look at Jupiter’s marvelous poles, the world’s largest (current) aircraft goes for a spin, Earth science loses on the proposed NASA budget and two astronauts perform an urgent spacewalk — it’s’s top news stories of the week.

Jupiter whirls

The first science results from NASA’s Juno probe reveal huge cyclones raging near Jupiter’s north and south poles and the workings of is spectacular auroras. Juno is the first spacecraft to get a close look the planet’s beautiful and bizarre poles. [Full Story: Mysteries at Jupiter: NASA’s Juno Probe Reveals Cyclones, Auroras & Surprises ]

Plus: More Jupiter Weirdness: Giant Planet May Have Huge, ‘Fuzzy’ Core

Sperm survives space

Astronauts kept freeze-dried mouse sperm on the International Space Station for nine months — and when brought back to Earth it gave rise to healthy pups. [Full Story: Freeze-Dried Space Sperm Gives Rise to Healthy Baby Mice ]

See also: Space Babies: Study Suggests Humans May Be Able to Have Healthy Offspring in Orbit

Fix it up

After a computer relay box malfunctioned, NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer went out for a quickly-planned spacewalk to replace the failed part. (Don’t worry, a backup took over in the meantime.) Whitson built the replacement from spare parts aboard the International Space Station. [Full Story: Astronauts Restore Space Station to Full Health in Quick Repair Spacewalk ]

Clash of the dwarfs

New research suggests that most of the Milky Way’s antimatter could come from the collision of two special kinds of white dwarfs — the Earth-size cores of dead stars. [Full Story: Supernova Face-Off May Solve 40-Year-Old Antimatter Mystery ]

Mammoth flier success

A massive blimp-like aircraft called the Airlander 10 successfully flew for 180 minutes and landed, testing its improved landing technology and handling. It’s the third test flight for the world’s largest aircraft currently flying, which is designed to stay in the air for up to 5 days at a time with people on board. [World’s Largest Aircraft Completes Successful Test Flight ]

Earth science nix

The White House’s official 2018 budget request curtails five NASA Earth-science missions, including the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud ocean Ecosystem satellite; the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 experiment; the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory Pathfinder; the Earth-viewing instruments aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory spacecraft and, now, the Radiation Budget Experiment. [Full Story: Trump’s 2018 Budget Request Axes 5 NASA Earth-Science Missions ]

Plus: NASA’s Proposed 2018 Budget Could Push Europa Mission to Late 2020s

Summer on Saturn

The Cassini spacecraft has seen Saturn through the seasons as the planet has orbited the sun, watching its dramatic changes. Now, it’s finally the planet’s solstice and the end of the spacecraft’s second extended mission — just in time for its Sept. 15 Grand Finale dive into the planet’s atmosphere. [Full Story: Saturn Solstice: Cassini Gets ‘Ringside Seat’ to Dramatic Seasonal Changes ]

Listening in

The world’s most sensitive dark matter detector, XENON1T, has gone online deep beneath a mountain in Italy, completing a 30-day science run hunting for the minuscule fireworks that could be caused by a certain type of dark matter ramming into a xenon atom inside the detector. [Full Story: The World’s Most Sensitive Dark Matter Detector Is Now Up and Running ]

It’s a Phantom

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Boeing to build the U.S. military’s new XS-1 space plane. The plane, called the Phantom Express, is designed to launch to the edge of space to deploy a second stage rocket, which would deposit a satellite in orbit. [Full Story: US Military’s XS-1 Space Plane Will Be Built by Boeing (Video) ]

Darkness coming

Get ready for the 2017 total solar eclipse, which will cross the continental United States Aug. 21 — less than three months from now. [Full Story: Countdown to Darkness: Total Solar Eclipse Three Months Away ]

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