Space exploration

FILE - This Dec. 6, 2018 image made available by NASA shows the InSight lander. The scene was assembled from 11 photos taken using its robotic arm. On Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, NASA declared the craft dead after failing to burrow deep into the red planet to take its temperature. (NASA via AP)
January 14, 2021 - 12:55 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA declared the Mars digger dead Thursday after failing to burrow deep into the red planet to take its temperature. Scientists in Germany spent two years trying to get their heat probe, dubbed the mole, to drill into the Martian crust. But the 16-inch-long (40-...
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In this image from video made available by Blue Origin, the company's New Shepard rocket lands after a test flight in West Texas on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Blue Origin via AP)
January 14, 2021 - 11:20 am
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company launched a new capsule into space Thursday to test all the astronaut perks before people strap in. Thursday’s flight with a dummy named Mannequin Skywalker lasted 10 minutes and reached 66 miles (106 kilometers) above West Texas. Both the...
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This optical microscope photo provided Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020, by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), shows soil samples, seen inside C compartment of the capsule brought back by Hayabusa2, in Sagamihara, near Tokyo. Japanese space officials said Thursday they found more asteroid soil samples collected and brought back from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, in addition to black sandy granules they found last week, raising their hopes of finding clues to the origins of the solar system. (JAXA via AP)
December 24, 2020 - 3:49 am
TOKYO (AP) — They resemble small fragments of charcoal, but the soil samples collected from an asteroid and returned to Earth by a Japanese spacecraft were hardly disappointing. The samples Japanese space officials described Thursday are as big as 1 centimeter (0.4 inch) and rock hard, not breaking...
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FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 19, 2016 file photo Josef Aschbacher attends a press conference in Rome, Italy. The European Space Agency said Thursday that Josef Aschbacher, an Austrian scientist who leads its Earth observation program, has been appointed as the organization's next head. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, file)
December 17, 2020 - 4:13 am
BERLIN (AP) — The European Space Agency said Thursday that Josef Aschbacher, an Austrian scientist who leads its Earth observation program, has been appointed as the organization's next head. The agency's 22 member states elected Aschbacher to be ESA's director general succeeding Jan Woerner, whose...
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A model of China's Chang'e 5 lunar orbiter and lander are displayed before a press conference at the State Council Information Office in Beijing, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Following the successful return of moon rocks by its Chang'e 5 robotic probe, China is preparing for future missions that could set the stage for an eventual  lunar base to host human explorers. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
December 17, 2020 - 2:35 am
BEIJING (AP) — Following the successful return of moon rocks by its Chang’e 5 robotic probe, China is preparing for future missions that could set the stage for an eventual lunar base to host human explorers, a top space program official said Thursday. China's next three lunar missions are on track...
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In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, recovery crew members film the capsule of the Chang'e 5 probe after its successful landed in Siziwang district, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. A Chinese lunar capsule returned to Earth on Thursday with the first fresh samples of rock and debris from the moon in more than 40 years. (Ren Junchuan/Xinhua via AP)
December 16, 2020 - 6:35 pm
BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese lunar capsule returned to Earth on Thursday with the first fresh samples of rock and debris from the moon in more than 40 years. The capsule of the Chang’e 5 probe landed just before 2 a.m. (1800 GMT Wednesday) in the Siziwang district of the Inner Mongolia region, state...
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FILE - In this May 30, 2020, file photo, a SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, lifts off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts blasted towards orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil, a first for a private company. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
December 16, 2020 - 12:07 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronauts blasted into orbit from the U.S. for the first time in nearly a decade, three countries sent spacecraft hurtling toward Mars, and robotic explorers grabbed rocks from the moon and gravel from an asteroid for return to Earth. Space provided moments of hope and...
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This photo provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), shows soil samples, seen inside a container of the re-entry capsule brought back by Hayabusa2, in Sagamihara, near Tokyo,Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Officials from Japan's space agency said Tuesday they have found more than the anticipated amount of soil and gases inside a small capsule the country's Hayabusa2 spacecraft brought back from a distant asteroid this month, a sample-return mission they praised as a milestone for planetary research.(JAXA via AP)
December 15, 2020 - 3:29 am
TOKYO (AP) — Officials from Japan's space agency said Tuesday they have found more than the anticipated amount of soil and gases inside a small capsule the country's Hayabusa2 spacecraft brought back from a distant asteroid this month, a mission they praised as a milestone in planetary research...
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This photo provided by Virgin Galactic shows SpaceShipTwo Unity being released from the carrier mothership, VMS Eve for second successful glide flight in New Mexico on Thursday, June 25, 2020. Virgin Galactic is celebrating the second successful glide flight of its spaceship over Spaceport America in southern New Mexico. (Virgin Galactic via AP)
December 11, 2020 - 7:23 am
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The window opened Friday for Virgin Galactic’s first rocket-powered test flight from Spaceport America in southern New Mexico as the company prepares for commercial flights next year, but the exact timing of the launch will depend on the weather. Virgin Galactic posted on...
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In this screen grab from video posted by SpaceX, the company's Starship launches for a test flight, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in a remote area of Texas. (SpaceX via AP)
Associated Press
December 09, 2020 - 5:19 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX launched its shiny, bullet-shaped, straight-out-of-science fiction Starship several miles into the air from a remote corner of Texas on Wednesday, but the 6 1/2-minute test flight ended in an explosive fireball at touchdown. It was the highest and most elaborate...
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