Rocket Lab Aborts Test Launch Seconds Before Liftoff

A Rocket Lab Electron rocket nearly took off from the company’s launch facility in New Zealand on Dec. 11, but launch was aborted seconds before takeoff. The private spaceflight company Rocket Lab aborted a scheduled test launch of its small-scale Electron rocket today (Dec. 11), just 2 seconds before liftoff. At Rocket Lab’s private launch […]

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Space Shuttle: The First Reusable Spacecraft

NASA’s Columbia orbiter launches skyward on April 12, 1981 on NASA’s first-ever shuttle flight, STS-1. Commanding the 54-hour mission was astronaut veteran John Young with then-rookie flyer Robert Crippen as pilot. NASA’s space shuttle was the world’s first reusable spacecraft. It launched like a rocket, and returned to Earth like a glider. It was designed […]

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How Was Mars Made? | Formation of Mars

The planet Mars was formed, along with the rest of the solar system, about 4.6 billion years ago. But exactly how the planets formed remains a subject of debate. Currently, two theories are duking it out for the role of champion. The first and most widely accepted theory, core accretion, works well with the formation […]

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Warp Speed: The Hype of Hyperspace

Hyperspace travel is the premise that it’s possible to travel at speeds faster than light when energy from other dimensions is harnessed. The idea is a staple of science fiction writers. One famous example is “Star Trek,” where the starship Enterprise jumps from star system to star system to visit other planets. “If Captain Kirk […]

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What is Mars Made Of? | Composition of Planet Mars

Mars is the “Red Planet” for a very good reason: its surface is made of a thick layer of oxidized iron dust and rocks of the same color. Maybe another name for Mars could be “Rusty.” But the ruddy surface does not tell the whole story of the composition of this world. Dusty crust The […]

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Blue Origin Preparing to Resume Test Flights from West Texas

Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle lifting off on a test flight in January 2016. An airspace closure noticed published by the FAA Dec. 9 suggests the company is preparing to resume test flights of the vehicle. WASHINGTON — An airspace closure notice published by the Federal Aviation Administration Dec. 9 suggests Blue Origin is preparing […]

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Space, astronomy and science