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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: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:28:00 -0400

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Cassini Craft Beams Closest Images Ever Taken Of Saturn

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:28:00 -0400

The spacecraft is "showing us new wonders and demonstrating where our curiosity can take us if we dare," NASA's planetary science director says.



The North Korean Electromagnetic Pulse Threat, Or Lack Thereof

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:10:00 -0400

Can a nuclear weapon in space fired by North Korea knock off much of the world's electricity? Jeffrey Lewis, of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, says not really.



Cassini Spacecraft Re-Establishes Contact After 'Dive' Between Saturn And Its Rings

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 04:17:00 -0400

The Cassini probe has orbited Saturn for 13 years. This is the first time it entered the gap between the planet and its rings.



Cassini Spacecraft Starts Weaving Between Saturn And Its Rings

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 09:13:00 -0400

"Shields Up!" the Cassini craft's Twitter feed announced Wednesday. If all goes well, new images of the ringed planet will reach Earth early Thursday.



Astronaut Peggy Whitson Breaks NASA Record For Most Days In Space

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 16:31:00 -0400

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has now spent more time off-planet than any other American. On Monday morning, the president and Ivanka Trump called Whitson at the International Space Station to congratulate her.



Astronaut Peggy Whitson Sets NASA Record For Most Days In Space

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:29:00 -0400

When she comes back down to Earth this year, Peggy Whitson will have logged more than 650 days in space. She spoke to President Trump Monday morning.



Photographers Name New Night Sky Lights

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 06:32:00 -0400

Canadian photographers discovered a new kind of northern light. They describe it as a ribbon of purple light in the night sky. They chose to name this marvel of the natural world: Steve.



Cassini Spacecraft Heads To Saturn

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 08:07:31 -0400

The Cassini spacecraft, launched in 1997, has begun its final trip, which will end in its eventual destruction on Saturn. It recently sent back a picture of Earth from 870 million miles away.



In A New 'Anti-Science' Era, Bill Nye 'Saves The World' With Same Optimism

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 17:11:39 -0400

"The Science Guy" dons his lab coat and bow tie uniform yet again, this time, in a a new political context. In his new Netflix series, Nye tackles climate change deniers and beyond.



Lights Off, Blankets Out: Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 16:34:00 -0400

Conditions on Friday night and before dawn on Saturday should be ideal for spotting the streaks of space debris — leftover particles from a comet that was last seen in 1861.



Astronaut, Cosmonaut And Stuffed Dog Arrive At International Space Station

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:08:00 -0400

It's the first mission to space for American Jack Fischer, who says there is one aspect of space station life that you can't train for on Earth: using a zero-gravity toilet.



An Asteroid Is Swinging By Earth Today For Its Closest Visit In 400 Years

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 11:09:00 -0400

Don't worry: Astronomers say asteroid 2014 JO25, which is more than a third of a mile wide, will fly harmlessly past our planet. Still, it should come close enough to be visible with small telescopes.



WATCH: NASA Livestreams 360-Degree View Of Rocket Launch

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:01:00 -0400

A special 360-degree camera was installed on the launch pad near the base of the Atlas V rocket heading to the International Space Station.



Russia To Send Gun-Toting Humanoid Into Space

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 06:32:28 -0400

Russia's space-bound robot FEDOR, Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, is being trained to shoot guns from both of its hands. An official says the robot is not a real-life Terminator.



Scientists Find Signs That Saturn's Moon Enceladus Might Be Hospitable To Life

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 17:16:00 -0400

"This is the closest we've come, so far, to identifying a place with some of the ingredients needed for a habitable environment," NASA says. There are signs of a promising reaction under the surface.