June 29, 2012 This Sunday, three members of the International Space Station crew will return to Earth on board a Kazakhstan-bound Soyuz craft, after over six months in orbit. Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers, two of the returning astronauts, and Joe Acaba, who arrived at the station in May, discuss life on board ISS, the visit of the Dragon capsule, and current activities in space.
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An artist's illustration of events on the sun changing the conditions in near-Earth space.
June 25, 2012 When solar storms strike, radio signals jam, power grids go down, GPS systems fail. Two new satellites may soon help NASA scientists understand the effects of space weather down here on Earth. The probes, two years in the making, will finally be launched on Aug. 23.
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June 22, 2012 The universe is full of invisible stuff--dark matter, for example, outnumbers visible matter by a ratio of five to one. Some theoretical physicists think dark matter may be lurking in extra dimensions. Cosmologist Michael Turner discusses the dark side of the universe, and how physicists are studying it.
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June 22, 2012 The Voyager 1 spacecraft will soon have a new territory to explore--interstellar space. Voyager chief scientist Ed Stone discusses whether the spacecraft will have a bumpy exit from the solar system, and the chances Voyager's golden record may someday be intercepted by an advanced space-faring civilization.
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June 22, 2012 China's Shenzhou 9 spacecraft docked successfully with the orbiting Tiangong 1 test module this week, ticking off another accomplishment for the country's manned spaceflight program. Jonathan McDowell and Joan Johnson-Freese discuss the future of China's space program, and whether a new space race is heating up.
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An artist's rendering shows one of NASA's twin Voyager spacecrafts, which launched in 1977.
NASA via AP
June 21, 2012 Some 35 years after leaving Earth, scientists say, one of two Voyager probes may be nearing the solar system's absolute edge — farther than anything ever built by humans — and heading for the terra incognita of interstellar space.
June 20, 2012 What happens inside a black hole? Do the laws of Nature go haywire? A new NASA mission may shed some light into Nature's most enigmatic objects.
There's plenty of starfield action going on in Prometheus.
Twentieth Century Fox
June 15, 2012 Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson keeps a close eye on science in the movies — he even got a change made to Titanic. Here, he talks about truths and less-than-truths in some of the films that are taking us outside our own realm.
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Gary Hug built what he calls the Sandlot Observatory, with its 22-inch reflector telescope, behind his house near Topeka, Kan.
Courtesy of Gary Hug
June 14, 2012 Meteors enter Earth's atmosphere every day, with most burning up before they reach the ground. But some asteroids have the potential to cause some damage, and there's a man in Kansas who's tracking these chunks of space rock — in his own backyard, using a telescope he made himself.
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This artist's illustration shows what NuSTAR should look like in orbit after its 30-foot-long mast deployed.
June 13, 2012 A 700-pound NASA science satellite roared into orbit Wednesday on a mission to map high-energy features across the universe, including black holes and supernovae. The NuSTAR mission will provide scientists with unprecedented resolution for viewing X-ray objects in space.
Astronauts Shannon Walker and David Saint-Jacques test a probe in the waters off Key Largo, Fla. Their research may help NASA set foot on an asteroid someday.
Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images
June 10, 2012 NASA may have retired its shuttles, but it has its sights on sending astronauts deeper into space than ever before. The agency wants to set foot on asteroids, but the first step is a soggy one.
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June 8, 2012 SpaceX's Dragon capsule has travelled safely to the International Space Station and back. The next step, says Space.com writer Clara Moskowitz, is to outfit the capsule for crew, which SpaceX hopes to complete by 2015. Until then US astronauts will hitch rides on Russia's Soyuz, at about $60 million a pop.
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June 8, 2012 Last year, the National Reconnaissance Office gave NASA a gift--two declassified spy telescopes, each higher in quality than anything NASA has ever produced for space. NASA astrophysics director Paul Hertz and Caltech theoretical physicist Sean Carroll discuss how the telescopes could be used to hunt for elusive dark matter and dark energy.
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June 8, 2012 In four billion years, the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies will collide, according to a study in the Astrophysical Journal. Roeland van der Marel, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, talks about how this discovery was made, and the fate of our solar system.
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June 5, 2012 Twice every 100 years or so, Venus crosses the face of the Sun. It's like an eclipse, except Venus will look like a pea in a yellow saucer. But the transit has a storied history — it showed for the first time that other planets have an atmosphere, and also allowed astronomers to calculate the scale of the solar system. This year offers yet another possibility — the transit will help astronomers figure out which planets orbiting other suns in the universe have atmospheres, and maybe life.
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