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NPR coverage of space exploration, space shuttle missions, news from NASA, private space exploration, satellite technology, and new discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics.



Last Build Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:16:00 -0500

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Night Became Day In Detroit As Meteor Lit Up Sky

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:16:00 -0500

A meteor streaked over southeast Michigan Tuesday night, creating a sonic boom so loud it shook houses. After seeing the spectacle in the night sky, thousands of people took to social media to share what they witnessed.



Black Holes: Where Reality Beats Fiction

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:07:00 -0500

We know that at the heart of pretty much every galaxy, there is a giant black hole. There is a lot that we know about black holes — and a lot that we don't know, says astrophysicist Marcelo Gleiser.



Bright Light, Sonic Boom As Meteor Streaks Across Southern Michigan

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:23:00 -0500

The space rock punched through the clouds near Detroit just after 8 p.m. with a boom that shook houses and registered magnitude 2.0 on U.S. Geological Survey instruments.



Remembering A Comet-Discoverer

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 08:02:39 -0500

Thomas Bopp, who helped discover the Hale-Bopp Comet in 1995, died last week.



Researchers Spot Massive Black Hole In Double 'Burp'

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 06:32:42 -0500

The cosmic sinkhole is at the center of a galaxy 800 million light-years from Earth and supports the theory that such objects can switch their power output on and off in relatively short time-scales.



Astronomical Growth Turns Out To Be 'Fake News,' Says Japanese Astronaut

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:34:41 -0500

Norishige Kanai said he had grown up to 3 1/2 inches since arriving in space, sparking worry about whether he'd fit in the spacecraft home. Turns out, Kanai did grow, just not that much.



U.S. Spy Satellite Reportedly 'Write Off' After Failing To Reach Orbit

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 04:47:00 -0500

The multi-billion dollar satellite, launched by SpaceX, was initially thought to have made a successful low-Earth orbit, but there have been several unconfirmed reports since indicating it is lost.



SpaceX Rocket Launches Secret Government Payload Into Orbit

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 01:51:00 -0500

The launch of the top-secret Zuma satellite into an undisclosed orbit ended with yet another pinpoint landing for the Falcon's first-stage booster, which will be reused.



Star 'Treknology': Imagining The Future Into Being

Sat, 06 Jan 2018 16:47:00 -0500

From its first appearance, Star Trek has always been hopeful about the relationship between society and technology. Ethan Siegel doesn't lose sight of this in his book, Treknology, says Adam Frank.



Astronaut John Young, Who Flew In Space 6 Times, Dies At 87

Sat, 06 Jan 2018 13:49:10 -0500

One of NASA's most accomplished astronauts died Friday. He flew in space six times, including a moon landing, and later headed the office that chose crews for space shuttle missions.



Astronomers Find Huge Stars More Common Than Previously Thought

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 14:01:14 -0500

A survey of a neighboring galaxy turned up 30 percent more super-heavy stars than expected. The discovery has implications for how stars form.



UFO Investigations: The Science And The Will To Believe

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 10:49:00 -0500

Employing science's methodology is key — as it's the best antidote we have to the very human propensity to turn something we want to believe into a reality, says astrophysicist Marcelo Gleiser.



The Year In Space Discoveries

Sun, 31 Dec 2017 08:12:20 -0500

It's been a banner year in space. We hear about 2017's biggest highlights, including the "Great American Eclipse" and NASA's Cassini spacecraft.



What Does A Newly Born Pacific Island Say About Life On Mars?

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 06:01:11 -0500

Take five minutes of your day, watch this amazing video of the birth of a new island in Tonga, and let its story and science knock you to the floor, says astrophysicist Adam Frank.



SpaceX Rocket Launch Lights Up The California Sky, Freaks Out Some Residents

Sat, 23 Dec 2017 16:42:08 -0500

The rocket carrying 10 satellites into low-earth orbit sparked alarm among some fearing a UFO. The Los Angeles Fire Department was prompted to release a statement about the "mysterious light."