Asteroids vs. microbes

Inside one of the containers of this 40-cm-across miniature laboratory in orbit, a battle is set to start between asteroid-like fragments and rock-hungry microbes, to probe their use for space mining in the future.

Chandra observations reveal extraordinary magnetar

In 2020, astronomers added a new member to an exclusive family of exotic objects with the discovery of a magnetar. New observations from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory help support the idea that it is also a pulsar, meaning ...

Six space missions to look forward to in 2021

Space exploration achieved several notable firsts in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, including commercial human spaceflight and returning samples of an asteroid to Earth.

World's space achievements a bright spot in stressful 2020

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 ...

China's space ambitions: Robot on Mars, a human on the moon

China's landing of its third probe on the moon is part of an increasingly ambitious space program that has a robot rover en route to Mars, is developing a reusable space plane and is planning to put humans back on the lunar ...

China's 'space dream': A Long March to the Moon and beyond

China's landing this week of a probe on the Moon—the first attempt by any nation to retrieve lunar samples in four decades—underlined just how far the country has come in achieving its space dream.

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