Latest Space exploration News

Virgin Galactic tourism rocket ship reaches space in test

Dec. 13, 2018 8:36 PM EST

MOJAVE, Calif. (AP) — Virgin Galactic's tourism spaceship climbed more than 50 miles high above California's Mojave Desert on Thursday, reaching for the first time what the company considers the boundary of space. The rocket ship hit an altitude of 51 miles (82 kilometers) before beginning its gliding...

Photos from Japan space rovers show rocky asteroid surface

Dec. 13, 2018 6:49 AM EST

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's space agency says more than 200 photos taken by two small rovers on an asteroid show no signs of a smooth area for the planned touchdown of a spacecraft early next year. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said Thursday the two solar-powered rovers have become inactive and are...

Eyes in the sky capture carbon, other climate culprits

Dec. 12, 2018 5:53 AM EST

KATOWICE, Poland (AP) — A growing fleet of satellites is monitoring man-made greenhouse gas emissions from space, spurred by the need to track down major sources of climate changing gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. While scientists and policy-makers agree that getting a firm grasp on the origins...

Spacewalking astronauts check site of capsule leak

Dec. 11, 2018 7:07 PM EST

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Spacewalking astronauts ripped through thick insulation on a capsule docked to the International Space Station on Tuesday, looking for clues to a mysterious drilled hole that leaked precious cabin air four months ago. Russians Sergei Prokopyev and Oleg Kononenko spotted the tiny...

NASA's Mars lander takes selfie from above with robotic arm

Dec. 11, 2018 6:27 PM EST

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's new Mars lander has taken a selfie from above, using a camera on its long robotic arm. The InSight lander snapped a series of pictures that NASA turned into a stunning mosaic, released Tuesday. InSight landed on Mars on Nov. 26. In the two weeks since, scientists are...

NASA's Voyager 2 becomes 2nd craft in interstellar space

Dec. 10, 2018 2:15 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — NASA's Voyager 2 is now the second human-made object to zip away from the sun into the space between the stars. Voyager 2 last month exited "this bubble that the sun creates around itself," longtime NASA mission scientist Ed Stone said Monday. The spacecraft is now beyond the outer...

China launches pioneering mission to far side of moon

Dec. 7, 2018 7:48 PM EST

BEIJING (AP) — China launched a ground-breaking mission Saturday to land a spacecraft on the largely unexplored far side of the moon, demonstrating its growing ambitions as a space power to rival Russia, the European Union and the U.S. A Long March 3B rocket carrying a lunar probe blasted off at 2:23 a.m....

New NASA lander captures 1st sounds of Martian wind

Dec. 7, 2018 5:06 PM EST

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's new Mars lander has captured the first sounds of the "really unworldly" Martian wind. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory released audio clips of the alien wind Friday. The low-frequency rumblings were collected by the InSight lander during its first week of operations at Mars....

New study explains creation of deadly California 'firenado'

Dec. 5, 2018 10:49 PM EST

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — A rare fire tornado that raged during this summer's deadly Carr Fire in Northern California was created by a combination of scorching weather, erratic winds and an ice-topped cloud that towered miles into the atmosphere, according to a study announced Wednesday. The churning funnel...

3 astronauts safely aboard International Space Station

Dec. 3, 2018 3:59 PM EST

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) — Three astronauts who were launched into space aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft Monday entered the International Space Station nearly eight hours later, a relief to relatives and scientists months after a rocket failure aborted another mission. The hatch of the capsule carrying...