Atlantis Returns

The Space Shuttle Atlantis took its first flight on October 3, 1985. 25 years and 33 missions later, it was retired at the end of the shuttle program in 2011. But it won’t be forgotten. On January 18, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to launch the …

The Phobos-Grunt Probe Cries Out From A Watery Grave

Remember when Roscosmos Director Vladimir Popovkin didn’t want to “accuse anybody” of shooting down the Phobos-Grunt Mars Probe? That isn’t so much the case anymore. Phobos-Grunt fell to Earth on Sunday and splashed down (in pieces) somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. We’re still not sure where, exactly, but it’s safe to say that, clearly, the …

A Quick Trip To Europa

NASA is considering a 7-day mission to the Jovian moon Europa, which would commence in 2020 and allow us to explore its icy surface and the potentially life-bearing ocean underneath. Scientists have designed a mission that would involve sending two landers directly to Jupiter’s moon. They would be outfitted in such a way as to …

Smallest Black Hole Discovered By NASA

NASA has discovered the “heartbeat” of what may be the smallest black hole ever recorded. The mass of the black hole places it “near the theoretical minimum mass required for a black hole to be stable,” and it was discovered by measuring the steady “heartbeat” of x-rays emanating from the binary star system IGR J17091-3624. Black …

Life On Mars? There Might Be, Now…

Oops. Turns out NASA didn’t thoroughly follow their guidelines for preventing contamination on other planets. At least, not leading up to the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory mission on November 26. Curiosity, the “largest and most advanced rover ever sent to the Red Planet,” almost made it into space without a hitch. But a …