Category Archives: Space exploration

New Horizons and Ultima Thule: Where to Watch

Update: it turns out that the coverage of the Ultima Thule flyby is “forward funded”, so it will proceed on NASA TV as normal. New Horizons, the spacecraft that famously imaged Pluto three years ago, will be making history again … Continue reading

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Elon Musk’s BFR Update and Yusaku Maezawa, the First Lunar Tourist

Last night, Galactic President CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk gave an update on his big future projects, the BFR (Big Falcon Rocket), BFS (which he says he needs to rename), and his planned tourist flight around the Moon. Video here. … Continue reading

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TESS Lifts Off

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) lifted off on a SpaceX rocket last night. TESS is a follow-up to the wildly successful Kepler mission that will hunt for transiting planets—that is, planets that pass in front of their stars, blocking … Continue reading

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Falcon Heavy Blasts Off

SpaceX successfully completed the maiden flight of its new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, earlier today. This new heavy lifter can launch 63.8 metric tons to low Earth orbit, compared with 22.8 metric tons for the Falcon 9, making it officially … Continue reading

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Elon Musk Wants to Send People to Mars…in 2025!

On Friday, at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia, Elon Musk of PayPal and Tesla Motors fame announced his plans for the future of his rocket company, SpaceX. And it’s pretty epic. SpaceX has come a long way—from having … Continue reading

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The End of the Cassini Mission

Yesterday morning, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft at Saturn was deorbited into the planet’s atmosphere in the Grand Finale of an epic 20-year mission. Cassini observed Venus, Earth, and Jupiter while it was in transit and has spent the past 13 years … Continue reading

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The Wild Chemistry, Geology, and Everything Else of Pluto

I just got back from the American Astronomical Society’s winter conference, and let me tell you, there was a lot of great science going on there, but I wanted to focus particularly on the latest findings about Pluto. Pluto’s geology … Continue reading

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