Space NPR coverage of space exploration, space shuttle missions, news from NASA, private space exploration, satellite technology, and new discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics.

A close-up image from the New Horizons probe of a range of mountains on Pluto, one of the highlights from space in 2015. Getty Images hide caption

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Getty Images

3 Big Moments From Space In 2015

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No Prank. Space Station Astronaut Calls Wrong Number

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The Mars rover InSight will not launch as scheduled in March. A seismometer it was supposed to carry has experienced a series of vacuum leaks and cannot be repaired in time. Yang Lei/Xinhua/Landov hide caption

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Yang Lei/Xinhua/Landov

SpaceX Successfully Lands Rocket After Launching It Into Space

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A handout picture made available by SpaceX shows a Falcon 9 rocket landing upright at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. SpaceX successfully returned a rocket to Earth following Monday's satellite launch after two earlier attempts failed. SpaceX/EPA/Landov hide caption

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SpaceX/EPA/Landov

Explaining The Celestial Logistics Of The Winter Solstice

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A detail of an image captured by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows exposed layers of mudstone and sandstone in contact with one another. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA Is Seeking Astronauts. Do You Have The Right Stuff?

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A photographer looks at the sky at night to see the annual Geminid meteor shower on the Elva Hill, in Maira Valley, near Cuneo, northern Italy on December 12, 2015. Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

No Warp Drives, No Transporters: Science Fiction Authors Get Real

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Ceres, with bright spots in its Occator Crater, is seen here in a "false color" image that reflects its surface composition. New analysis says the spots are caused by a type of salt. NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Pluto's shoreline of Sputnik Planum is seen in the highest-resolution images yet to come from New Horizons. John Spencer of the Southwest Research Institute says the details support the idea that the mountains "are huge ice blocks that have been jostled and tumbled and somehow transported to their present locations." NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI hide caption

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NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

The U.K. coastguard and local boatmen recovered a piece of metal from the sea off the Isles of Scilly in Britain. The debris is likely from the U.S. rocket SpaceX Falcon 9, which blew up after takeoff in June. Handout/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Handout/Reuters/Landov