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NASA Will Reformat Mars Rover From 200 Million Kilometres Away

NASA’s Opportunity rover is still trundling across the surface of Mars, more than 11 years after its 90-day mission began. But its software is getting bogged down, so NASA’s doing a full system backup, memory wipe and reboot. It’s just like your routine computer clean-up, just from the next planet over.


Monster Machines: NASA Approves Construction Of The World's Most Powerful Rocket

For all the super-cool and otherworldly space vehicle and satellite concepts that NASA engineers dream up, only a very small percentage of them ever make it off the drawing board and onto the production line. But the next generation Space Launch System is now part of that select few, having completed NASA’s rigorous review process and been found worthy of actual development.


Monster Machines: NASA Is Tearing Down One Of The Last Vestiges Of Its Shuttle Program

How do you strap an 80-tonne Space Shuttle to the back of a 19m tall 747? You use this metal monstrosity. Or, you did, before the program ended in 2011. Now, after nearly four decades of service, NASA’s tearing it down.


NASA Gives The Go-Ahead To The World's Most Powerful Rocket

Today, NASA has officially committed to build the new Space Launch System, the world’s most powerful rocket ever, which hopefully will take us to Mars by 2030. The program is now set for development — the “first time that an exploration class vehicle has gotten this status since the space shuttle”.


Monster Machines: The Prius Of Planes Could One Day Replace Helicopters And Jump Jets

Getting an aircraft to launch and land vertically is not difficult. Getting one to launch vertically and then complete a long-endurance flight, however, is an entirely different bag of cats. But a team from NASA’s Langley Research Center believe that they have developed a flight system that can do both tasks equally well. The secret: hybrid power.


Why NASA Launched One Of The Blackest Materials Ever Made Into Space

A few years ago, we looked at NASA’s long project to design a paint so black, it would absorb nearly every bit of light around it (that’s it above, in the “D” spot). Now, NASA has finally launched the stuff into space — which means that the six-year effort to make it is finally paying off. So, why is this such a vital project for NASA?


Beautiful Images Of Astronauts Releasing Nanosatellites Into Space

This is Oleg Artemyev. In his hand is a tiny satellite, known as a nanosatellite, called Chasqui 1 — and he’s about to throw it into the wilds of space.


NASA Wants You To Sift Through Its Astronauts' Photos

NASA has a problem, and it wants you to help. Since the ’50s, it’s amassed 1.8 million images of Earth from space — and it needs your assistance in working out exactly what they’re of.


A Little Blurry?

Briefly: A little blurry? Perhaps, but this is a three-second exposure taken from aboard the ISS. As astronaut Reid Wiseman points out, it “shows how crazy our atmosphere really is.” [Reid Wiseman]


NASA Is Working On Origami Solar Arrays That Unfurl In Space

The dream? Orbiting solar panels that beam energy down from space. The problem? Solar panels are shaped with maximum surface area to catch as many rays as possible, but wide, flat disks are also not very aerodynamic on the trip into space. The solution is to get clever with geometry.


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