Articles Tagged: space exploration

Supervising Two Rovers from Space

ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen is proving to be an expert space driver after commanding two rovers from space this week. As part of ESA’s Meteron project, Andreas drove a second, car-sized rover from the International Space Station to repair a mockup lunar base in the Netherlands.

NASA’s Europa Mission May Land on Ocean-Harboring Moon

NASA’s upcoming mission to Europa may actually touch down on the potentially life-harboring Jupiter moon. While the main thrust of the Europa mission, which NASA aims to launch by the mid-2020s, involves characterizing the icy satellite from afar during dozens of flybys, the space agency is considering sending a small probe down to the surface as well.

Yearlong Mock Mars Mission to Test Mental Toll of Isolation

On Friday (Aug. 28), six scientists left the comforts of civilization, set to be gone for an entire year. Their mission will simulate what it might be like for astronauts journeying to Mars. In the confines of a 36-foot-wide (11 meters) and 20-foot-high (6 m) solar-powered dome in a remote location on the island of Hawaii, the six team members will have to live together for 365 days. They will have no face-to-face contact with humans outside of the dome. This is the fourth and longest such mission carried out by the Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) program, and its goal is to find out how people will respond to the isolation that might accompany a mission to Mars.

NASA Mulling Life-Hunting Mission to Saturn Moon Enceladus

A decade from now, NASA probes could be on their way to explore two potentially life-supporting alien worlds. The agency already plans to launch a spacecraft toward the Jupiter moon Europa in the early to mid-2020s, and it’s mulling a mission to the Saturn satellite Enceladus that would lift off by the end of 2021. Many astrobiologists regard Europa and Enceladus, which are both thought to harbor oceans of liquid water beneath their icy shells, as the solar system’s two best bets to host alien life.

Young hopefuls in race to be first black African in space

In half a century of space travel more than 500 people have glimpsed the Earth from the unique vantage point of the cosmos, yet no black African has been among them. Now a Nigerian and two South Africans are in a race to become the first after being shortlisted in a global talent search to send a “young icon of the future” into the heavens.

How to Detect Alien Civilizations That Self-Destructed

For more than 50 years, we’ve been eavesdropping on the cosmos, searching for transmissions that would reveal the existence of intelligent, extraterrestrial life. To date, nobody’s bothered to call. Is it something we said? One possibility is that we’re alone, or at the very least, the only intelligent civilization with a Zip code in the Milky Way galaxy. And then, there’s the morbid alternative: Intelligent life periodically emerges on other worlds, but has an unfortunate tendency to self-destruct.

‘The Martian’ Shows 9 Ways NASA Tech Is Headed to Mars

In the sci-fi film “The Martian,” which hits theaters in October, astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) is stranded by himself, and presumed dead, on the Red Planet. But how much of the technology at Watney’s disposal actually exists today, or should exist in the near future? Read on to learn about the tech NASA is developing as part of its effort to put real boots on Mars in the 2030s.

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