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

The contrail from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen from Long Beach, Calif., more than 100 miles southeast from its launch site, the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Friday. Javier Mendoza/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Javier Mendoza/AP

On Feb. 12, 1984, Bruce McCandless ventured away unrestrained from the safety of his spaceship, which no previous astronaut had done. He could do it because of a brand-new, jet-powered backpack. NASA hide caption

toggle caption
NASA

Bruce McCandless, First Astronaut To Fly Untethered In Space, Has Died

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/517135809/573046551" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, (bottom); Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, middle; and U.S. astronaut Scott Tingle, above; wave prior to the launch of the Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sunday. Shamil Zhumatov/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Shamil Zhumatov/AP

Latest 'Star Wars' Movie Is Out Of This World

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/571027725/571027726" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An artist's illustration of 'Oumuamua, a cigar-shaped interstellar object discovered in October. Now, astronomers want to know if this interloper might harbor life. ESO/M. Kornmesser hide caption

toggle caption
ESO/M. Kornmesser

A photographer looks at the night sky to see the annual Geminid meteor shower in northern Italy in December 2015. This year's shower coincides with a close-range visit by its parent asteroid. Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

A Record-Breaking Astronaut

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/569716816/569716817" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript