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 Proton-M rocket shown in 2013. The same type of rocket malfunctioned in mid-flight on Saturday and crashed over Siberia carrying a Mexican communications satellite. PHOTO ITAR-TASS/ITAR-TASS/Landov hide caption

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PHOTO ITAR-TASS/ITAR-TASS/Landov

The 200-inch Hale Telescope, a masterpiece of engineering at Caltech's Palomar Observatory, was the world's largest telescope until 1993. Scott Kardel/Palomar Observatory/Courtesy of Palomar Observatory/California Institute of Technology hide caption

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Scott Kardel/Palomar Observatory/Courtesy of Palomar Observatory/California Institute of Technology

'Playing Around With Telescopes' To Explore Secrets Of The Universe

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The view of the universe known as the Hubble Deep Field, presented in 1996, shows classical spiral and elliptical shaped galaxies, as well as a variety of other galaxy shapes. NASA/AP hide caption

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NASA/AP

Astronomer Chris Impey examines the possibilities of the universe in his new book Beyond. "I like the idea that the universe — the boundless possibility of 20 billion habitable worlds — has led to things that we can barely imagine," he says. In the 1970s, NASA Ames conducted several space colony studies, commissioning renderings of the giant spacecraft which could house entire cities. Rick Guidice/NASA Ames Research Center hide caption

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Rick Guidice/NASA Ames Research Center

The Great 'Beyond': Contemplating Life, Sex And Elevators In Space

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An image of the galaxy EGS-zs8-1, which set a new distance record after researchers determined it was more than 13 billion light-years away. NASA, ESA, P. Oesch, and I. Momcheva, and the 3D-HST and HUDF09/XDF teams hide caption

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NASA, ESA, P. Oesch, and I. Momcheva, and the 3D-HST and HUDF09/XDF teams

How NASA's Space Race Helped To Integrate The South

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This visualisation of the 3-D structure of the Pillars of Creation is based on new observations of the object using the MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile. The pillars actually consist of several distinct pieces on either side of the star cluster NGC 6611. In this illustration, the relative distance between the pillars along the line of sight is not to scale. ESO/M. Kornmesser hide caption

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ESO/M. Kornmesser

NASA Spacecraft Crashes Into Mercury, Concluding 4-Year Study Of Planet

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This image of a "red spot" on Mercury, which is thought to be the result of a volcanic explosion, was sent to Earth by the Messenger probe in 2011. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington hide caption

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NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

An artist's rendition of the HD 7924 planetary system — just 54 light-years away from Earth — shows newly discovered exoplanets c and d, which join Planet b. Karen Termaura, BJ Fulton/UH IfA hide caption

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Karen Termaura, BJ Fulton/UH IfA

Welcome To The Neighborhood: 2 Super-Earths Discovered

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A Russian launch vehicle carrying the Progress M-27M cargo ship lifts off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday. Fears mounted Wednesday that the unmanned cargo capsule was lost and may plunge back to Earth as ground control failed to gain control of the orbiting ship for a second day in a row. Roscosmos /EPA /Landov hide caption

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Roscosmos /EPA /Landov