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NASA tests its “Ferrari of rocket engines” in preparation for Mars voyage - ScienceAlert

With NASA’s trip to Mars getting ever closer, the space agency is completing tests of the rocket parts that will soon send astronauts further than humankind has ever travelled before.

In preparation for the mission to the red planet, last week NASA successfully conducted the penultimate ‘hot fire’ test of its legendary RS–25 engine. The engine, sometimes nicknamed “the Ferrari of rocket engines” in reference to its awesome power and efficiency, was fired up for a 535-second test: the length of time it would take the RS–25 to propel the Space Launch System (SLS)...

Astronauts finally eating space grown lettuce amid joy and satisfaction

Scientists have been thinking for long time to find an alternative habitat other than our mother earth and the first criteria for a habitable land is the availability of food. Long ago, we published an article on how scientists are trying to grow lettuce on Mars. After that several new endeavours were taken up by NASA to cultivate crops on space. Finally they succeeded in growing lettuce at the International Space Station. Unlike normal salads of our breakfast, this salad is grown on space. Isn’t that amazing?

NASA Announced the Discovery Of The Most Earth-like Exoplanet

It was named as Kepler-452B and is in the constellation Cygnus. Thanks to observations made with the space telescope Kepler, NASA could detect the closest planet to Earth since it started to search for exoplanets with this powerful instrument in 2009.

The largest thing in the universe

More than ten years ago, while taking the temperature of the universe, astronomers found something odd. They discovered that a patch of sky, spanning the width of 20 moons, was unusually cold.
The astronomers were measuring the microwave radiation that bathes the entire universe, a glowing relic of the big bang. To gaze at this cosmic microwave background, or CMB, is to glimpse the primordial universe, a time when it was less than 400,000 years old.

Frozen carbon monoxide in Pluto's 'heart'

Peering closely at the "heart of Pluto," in the western half of what mission scientists have informally named Tombaugh Regio (Tombaugh Region), New Horizons' Ralph instrument revealed evidence of carbon monoxide ice.

The contours indicate that the concentration of frozen carbon monoxide increases towards the center of the "bull's eye." These data were acquired by the spacecraft on July 14 and transmitted to Earth on July 16.

A rock worth $5.4 trillion is flying by Earth this weekend - here's how to watch

Asteroids might not look like much on the outside, but you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Underneath the surface of some asteroids is a treasure trove of a type of mineral, called platinum, that is rare on Earth but extremely lucrative - 1,000 cubic centimetres of platinum is worth close to $US1 million. And asteroids have a lot more than that.

One of these platinum-loaded asteroids will be flying by Earth on Sunday, July 19. And this particular one, called asteroid 2011 UW-158, is thought to harbour an estimated $US5.4 trillion worth of platinum.

Old Astronomic Riddle on the Way to Be Solved

Almost 100 years ago, astronomers discovered that the spectrum of star light arrived on earth with dark gaps, so-called interstellar bands. Ever since, researchers have been trying to find out which type of matter in space absorbs the light and is responsible for these “diffuse interstellar bands” (DIB) of which over 400 are known today.

140 Million Suns! Monster Black Hole Weighs In

A heavyweight black hole in the heart of a distant galaxy has the mass of 140 million suns, according to new measurements. A vivid video by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory describes how researchers "weighed" the black hole at the center of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1097.

Many galaxies have huge black holes in their centers, and these objects affect the galaxies' growth and evolution. The galaxy NGC 1097 is 47 million light-years away from Earth, too far to determine the mass of its central black hole by the movement of the stars around it. But by tracking the...

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