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First U.S. Asteroid Sample Mission Moves Forward

NASA’s Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) is taking shape. This return sample mission to asteroid Bennu is to launch in the fall of 2016. The spacecraft will then rendezvous with the space rock in 2018. Following a year of reconnaissance of the object, OSIRIS-REx will snag a sample of the asteroid [...]

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Super Planet Crash: Educational Game for World Builders

Let the games begin! A new online educational resource allows the user to build their own planetary system, putting planets into orbit around a star and racking up points until they add a planet that destabilizes the whole system. The game is an offshoot of the open-source software package – Systemic Console — astronomers use [...]

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It’s Alive! Comet Lander Ready for Action

The Philae comet lander has been successfully reactivated and broke its planned radio silence by sending data to Earth on March 28. Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft — with the Philae lander on board — has been making its way through space since March 2004 to investigate Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. What exactly is to be expected on arrival [...]

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House Members Issue Bi-Partisan Call for Human Exploration Strategy Using Space Launch System, Orion

A bi-partisan letter from 32 members of the U.S. House urges the White House to structure a “safe, focused and expeditious return of American astronauts to deep space exploration on an American rocket launched from American soil.” The lawmakers, led by Steven M. Palazzo, chair of the House Science Subcommittee, and Donna F. Edwards, the [...]

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NASA’s Strategic Plan 2014 Released

NASA has released its 2014 Strategic Plan, with the space agency’s Office of Strategy Formulation identified as the responsible office. “Our long-term goal is to send humans to Mars. Over the next two decades, we will develop and demonstrate the technologies and capabilities needed to send humans to explore the red planet and safely return [...]

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