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NASA Explains Giant Bear Face on Mars

Hey there, Pooh?

(Newser) - There's a giant bear on Mars—or rather a rock formation that looks remarkably like one. NASA shared the intriguing image, captured last month by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, in a Wednesday release . Taken from 156 miles above Mars' southern hemisphere, it shows two circular craters above a muzzle-shaped...

Don't Look Up: NASA Satellite Is Hurtling Toward Earth
NASA Satellite Falls
Harmlessly to Earth

NASA Satellite Falls Harmlessly to Earth

NASA says Earth Radiation Budget Satellite reentered off the coast of Alaska

(Newser) - After almost 40 years circling Earth, a retired NASA science satellite plunged harmlessly through the atmosphere off the coast of Alaska, NASA reported Monday. The Defense Department confirmed that the 5,400-pound satellite—placed in orbit in 1984 by astronaut Sally Ride—reentered late Sunday night over the Bering Sea,...

There's a Space Race On, and China Could Win It

'We better watch out,' says NASA Administrator Bill Nelson

(Newser) - "It is a fact: We're in a space race," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told Politico in a recent interview. And it's not just about politics and bragging rights—there are both national security and practical implications, according to many US officials. "We better watch out...

Mars Lander's Possible Final Image: 'Don't Worry About Me'

After 4 years, InSight is believed to have lost power—meaning we may not hear from it again

(Newser) - NASA's InSight might finally be dead. The Mars lander whose solar panels have been caked in dust for months failed to respond to communications on Sunday, NASA reported. The announcement came alongside what could be a final selfie from InSight, showing the lander in what looked like a very...

NASA's Orion Capsule Makes Crazy-Fast Return From Moon

Capsule hit atmosphere at 32 times the speed of sound

(Newser) - NASA's Orion capsule made a blisteringly fast return from the moon Sunday, parachuting into the Pacific off Mexico to conclude a 25-day test flight around the moon that should clear the way for astronauts on the next lunar flyby. The incoming capsule hit the atmosphere at Mach 32, or...

'Outstanding' Orion Still Faces One of Its Biggest Trials

Dec. 11 entry into Earth's atmosphere will test its heat shield

(Newser) - NASA's Orion spacecraft has reached its maximum distance from Earth, a record-setting 268,563 miles. The spacecraft that launched Nov. 16 reached the halfway point in its 26-day mission on Monday as it looped around the moon. It was 43,138 miles beyond the far side of the moon,...

NASA's Orion Capsule Breaks Record Set in 1970

Spacecraft designed to carry humans has now gone further than Apollo 13

(Newser) - Moonikin Campos, the mannequin in the commander's seat of NASA's Orion capsule, has now traveled further into space than any human. The uncrewed capsule broke a record around 8:40am EST Saturday when it reached 248,655 miles from Earth, the distance reached by the Apollo 13 command...

Artemis Program Nears Another Milestone

It's the first step toward developing a moon base

(Newser) - NASA's Artemis Program has already set at least one record with Artemis I, the most powerful space rocket in history, which was launched last Wednesday from Cape Canaveral. Per the Guardian , the Orion space capsule the rocket carried will soon set another record, traveling 1.3 million miles, more...

After Tense Wait, NASA Reports a Lunar Success
NASA Capsule
Reaches the Moon

NASA Capsule Reaches the Moon

Unmanned craft on track for record-breaking lunar orbit

(Newser) - NASA’s Orion capsule reached the moon Monday, whipping around the back side and passing within 80 miles on its way to what should be a record-breaking lunar orbit, per the AP . The close approach occurred as the crew capsule and its three test dummies were on the far side...

At Last, 'What an Incredible Sight to See'

Artemis rocket holding unmanned Orion spacecraft is finally headed toward moon after series of delays

(Newser) - With a series of nixed attempts left in its wake, Artemis I is finally on its way to the moon. NASA reports that its powerful Space Launch System (SLS), holding the unmanned Orion spacecraft, blasted off for its flying debut from Florida's Kennedy Space Center at 1:47am Wednesday...

Beleaguered Moon Rocket Has a New Launch Date

New attempt is set for Wednesday; multiple other attempts in summer, early fall were scuttled

(Newser) - NASA's Artemis I moon rocket needs only minor repairs after enduring a hurricane at the pad and is on track for its first test flight next week, a top official said Friday. "Right now, there's nothing preventing us" from attempting a launch on Wednesday, said NASA's...

Search for WWII Plane Turns Up Chunk of Challenger Shuttle

20-foot remnant found by documentary crew off coast of Florida

(Newser) - It's been more than 35 years since the Challenger space shuttle exploded shortly after takeoff, killing all seven crew members—but a documentary team has just unearthed a big chunk of debris from the doomed spacecraft. In a Thursday release , NASA confirmed the discovery, made in the Atlantic Ocean...

Possible 'Planet Killer' Asteroid Found in Earth's Orbital Path

Future generations will want to keep an eye on it

(Newser) - Astronomers have discovered a new asteroid in our neighborhood: it's more than a mile wide, and its orbit around the sun crosses the Earth’s path, making it a potential "planet killer," according to a New York Times report on the rock known as 2022 APY. Not...

NASA Catches the Sun 'Smiling'
The Sun May Be
Laughing at Us

The Sun May Be Laughing at Us

Or at least 'smiling,' as NASA captions an odd satellite image

(Newser) - A NASA satellite has captured an odd image of the sun—it looks for all the world as if our famous star is "smiling," as the space agency puts it in a tweet . NASA explains that the dark patches making up the image are "known as coronal...

NASA Spacecraft Record Major Meteor Strikes on Mars

Photos show impact craters almost 500 feet wide

(Newser) - Two NASA spacecraft at Mars—one on the surface and the other in orbit—have recorded the biggest meteor strikes and impact craters yet. The high-speed barrages last December sent seismic waves rippling thousands of miles across Mars, the first ever detected near the surface of another planet, and carved...

NASA Tasks Team With Explaining UFOs

16 experts to look at what is needed to 'scientifically discern the nature of UAP'

(Newser) - NASA is bringing a scientific perspective to UFOs, launching a 16-member independent study team to investigate what are now known as unidentified aerial phenomena. The team—chaired by astrophysicist and Simons Foundation President David Spergel and including experts on astrobiology, data science, oceanography, policy, and planetary science—will spend nine...

NASA Releases Stunning Images of 'Pillars of Creation'

James Webb Space Telescope captured star-forming region in vivid detail

(Newser) - Marvel's cosmic Silver Surfer would not seem out of place in the latest amazing images from the James Webb Space Telescope. The images show the Pillars of Creation, spires of interstellar gas and dust in an active star-forming region of the Eagle Nebula in the Serpens constellation, 6,500...

NASA Has Successfully Nudged an Asteroid

It was the world's first attempt to alter the position of a celestial body

(Newser) - A spacecraft that plowed into a small, harmless asteroid millions of miles away succeeded in shifting its orbit, NASA said Tuesday in announcing the results of its save-the-world test. The space agency attempted the test two weeks ago to see if in the future a killer rock could be nudged...

First Native American Woman to Go to Space Has Arrived at ISS

SpaceX launch also carried Russian cosmonaut

(Newser) - Update: SpaceX on Thursday delivered a new crew to the International Space Station for a five-month stay, the AP reports. That includes Marine Col. Nicole Mann, the first Native American woman to travel to space; Anna Kikina, the first Russian cosmonaut to hitch a ride to space from NASA's...

Here's Visual Proof That Our Asteroid Slam Worked

DART's collision with Dimorphos asteroid confirmed by 6.2K-mile-long debris trail

(Newser) - Astronomers know for certain that NASA's DART spacecraft slammed into a distant asteroid in a test of whether Earth-threatening space rocks might be diverted, because that asteroid is spewing a whole lot of rock and dust. Two days after the Sept. 26 Double Asteroid Redirection Test, a telescope in...

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