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  1. NASA’s Cassini satellite appears to have captured an incredibly rare photo that shows the birth of a new moon emerging from the rings of Saturn. The facts are a little hazy at the moment because we only have a handful of photos to work from, but there is some evidence to suggest that Cassini has actually spotted two new moons over the last couple of years, and that one of those moons has since been destroyed. Never in the history of humanity have we spotted the creation (or destruction) of a moon — and, more importantly (at least as far as science is concerned), this could tell us a lot about
  2. Here on Earth, at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, scientists have created stardust — or more accurately, they’ve recreated the dust that forms in the outer atmosphere of a dying red giant star (such a red giant is pictured above, with its dust cloud perfectly captured by Hubble). Out there in space, over millions of years, this interstellar dust gathers together into a nebula and goes on to coalesce into planets and other stars. Down here on Earth, of course, NASA isn’t trying to create its own planets (not yet, anyway) — no, they have the much more humble undertaking of trying to b
  3. No, humble inhabitants of Hawaii, the US government hasn’t increased the level of psychoactive drugs in your water supply: That really is a flying saucer that just flew past your window at three times the speed of sound. Dubbed the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, NASA is hoping that this flying saucer is the secret to eventually landing larger payloads on other planets — such as sending a human exploration party to Mars, along with plenty of supplies. The LDSD is on a pretty aggressive schedule, with seven major tech demos over the next 24 months, and could be used in a real mission to Mar
  4. The search for planets that closely resemble Earth has yielded perhaps the closest match yet — according to a new report from NASA, the newly-discovered Kepler 186f planet (seen above in an artist's concept) is nearly identical to our planet in some key ways. The planet is one of the closest in size to Earth that has been discovered, and it is also the right distance from its sun to be in the "habitable zone" — a distance that makes it possible for liquid water to pool on the surface of the planet. While other Earth-like planets have been found, they've either been too hot or significantly
  5. The search for a new Earth outside the solar system seems to be nearing its end. NASA's Ames Research Center astronomer Thomas Barclay has found a planet nearly the size of Earth in the habitable zone of a star in the Milky Way. Barclay's announcement at the Search for Life Beyond the Solar System conference hasn't been officially published yet, so the details are scarce. We know that: 1. It's an M1 red dwarf star (maybe we should call it Krypton.) 2. It's a goldilocks planet, orbiting within the zone where liquid water (and life) can exist. 3. It's radius is only 1.1 times the size of Earth.
  6. NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) has made history using a pulsed laser beam to transmit data over the 239,000 miles between the moon and Earth at a record-breaking download rate of 622 megabits per second (Mbps). LLCD is NASA’s first system for two-way communication using a laser instead of radio waves. It also has demonstrated an error-free data upload rate of 20 Mbps transmitted from the primary ground station in New Mexico to the spacecraft currently orbiting the moon. “LLCD is the first step on our roadmap toward building the next generation of space communication ca
  7. Mike Wall, Feb 11, 2014, 11:27 AM EST This image combines a photograph of seasonal dark flows on a Martian slope with a grid of colors based on data collected by a mineral-mapping spectrometer observing the same area. Image released Feb. 10, 2014. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UA/JHU-APL) New clues are emerging about the mysterious streaks that appear on Mars' surface during warm weather, though scientists still can't say for sure that they're caused by flowing water. The marks, known as recurring slope lineae (RSL), snake down some crater walls and other inclines when the mercury rises on the Red Plan
  8. By JPL NASA February 14, 2014 Researchers have determined the now-infamous Martian rock resembling a jelly doughnut, dubbed Pinnacle Island, is a piece of a larger rock broken and moved by the wheel of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in early January. Only about 1.5 inches wide (4 centimeters), the white-rimmed, red-centered rock caused a stir last month when it appeared in an image the rover took Jan. 8 at a location where it was not present four days earlier. More recent images show the original piece of rock struck by the rover's wheel, slightly uphill from where Pinnacle Islan
  9. Jan 13, 2014 Editors note: This is a guest post by Nick Meyer, who is currently working on the Napwell, the worlds first Napping Mask. The Mask is currently running a Kickstarter campaign here. It's popular these days to make the claim that napping is good for you. This author has even built an entire startup on the premise that we should nap more and better. But what data is this conclusion based on? One important study by NASA for the most part. In the 1980s and 1990s, NASA and the FAA were studying whether or not in-cockpit napping could improve the job performance and safety of
  10. The key to a successful Mars landing is the same thing that matters in landing on any planet: You have to slow down before you hit the ground. That's why scientists are testing a new supersonic parachute that they hope will advance the technology needed to land heavier-than-ever spacecrafts—like the kind that will eventually carry humans to the Red Planet. This week, NASA engineers are gathered at Hawaii's Pacific Missile Range Facility to launch their new Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), a complex package of devices including an inflatable flying saucer and a huge parachute designe
  11. Google’s Project Tango smartphone isn’t just your average day smartphone, it packs in tons of special hardware that no other device on the market has, like the smartphone’s Myriad 1 vision processor chip which is capable of making a quarter of a million 3D measurements per second, this is exactly what NASA needed to get their Sphere robots to be fully autonomous. The team behind Project Tango, ATAP over at Google announced today, they will be partnering with NASA to build autonomous robots. Using the technology developed for Project Tango, the Spheres robot will be able to do tasks the astrona
  12. NASA is working to make science fiction a reality as it chose 12 advanced technologies to study, including a deep space submarine and the tech to capture a passing asteroid. The proposals, selected as part of NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program, will receive about $100,000 in funding under Phase 1 of the project for a 9-month study. If the studies go well, the scientists behind them can apply for Phase II awards, which could offer as much as $500,000 for another two years of research. The projects, submitted by scientists, engineers, and citizen inventors across the country, include co
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