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Space

  1. NASA Unveils Plans for Its Next Mars Rover in 2020

    I hope Curiosity doesn't get jealous.

    We may not have found life on Mars so far, but it sure is getting crowded up there with all the robots running around. Today, NASA revealed what instruments its next Mars rover, planned for 2020, will take with it out of 58 proposals from around the world. That's twice the number of proposals they're used to getting for such missions—looks like everyone wants to get their ass science to Mars.

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  2. Russia’s Sexy Space Geckos Memorialized Forever In Fantastic Poster

    Teeny-tiny Gecko voices: "You can't take the skies from us!"

    Last week we brought to your attention the most important thing to happen to journalism since Johannes Gutenberg cobbled together the printing press: Russia sent a quintet of geckos into space to study the effects of zero-gravity on lizard boinking (ooooh yeah), the reptilian Romeos mutinied (that's the story I'm going with) and satellite Foton-M4 and its copulating cargo went rogue.

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  3. Rosetta and Philae Read a Storybook History of Fantastic Comets and the Spacecraft That Land on Them

    ...but are we there yet?

    Holy crap, the European Space Agency has got me pegged with its campaign to raise awareness about its Rosetta mission to land a spacecraft on the surface of a comet for the first time. I am a sucker for personification of space technology. Rosetta's "little brother" Philae will land on its target comet on August 6th, so here's an adorable new animation of the pair reading a story book about their family's exploits in comet exploration.

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  4. We Have an Important Update About What We Think Rosetta’s Target Comet Looks Like

    At least the Philae lander will be safe from Munchers!

    The ESA spacecraft Rosetta is moving ever closer towards her target comet 67P, and our pareidolia is running full force to try to decide what it looks like. We've already see a rubber ducky, a marshmallow Peep, a weird butt, and now...

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  5. NASA Is Discussing Its 2020 #JourneyToMars Today at Noon ET, Watch it Live

    Get your ass to the live stream of NASA talking about getting their ass to Mars.

    NASA plans to send another rover to Mars in 2020, and they'll be discussing some of the details of that mission today. Included in those details will be what instruments the rover will carry, and that will give us an idea of exactly what it will be capable of looking for once it lands. You can watch the full announcement right here.

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  6. Simulated Mission to Mars Ends After Four Months on “Mars”

    Real World: Fake Mars?

    The area of interpersonal relationships between astronauts on a long-term mission to Mars is a bit of a gap in NASA's research. That's where the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) mission comes in. It spent four months studying what happens when a team of researchers in close-quarters under simulated Martian conditions stop being polite and start getting real.

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  7. The James Webb Space Telescope Sun Shield Will Help Us Search for Aliens, Looks Like a Star Destroyer

    I find your lack of intelligent life disturbing.

    Were you confused over the weekend as to why every NASA Twitter account and any account even closely related or interested was tweeting a picture of a really shiny, upside down Star Destroyer? (You follow everyone involved in the space program on Twitter too, right?) Wonder no more! It's the solar shield for Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, and it'll help us find alien life on planets far, far away.

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  8. Real-Life Headline Alert: Russia Has Lost Control Of a Sex Satellite Filled With Geckos

    Don't go getting any bright ideas, astronauts.

    Last Saturday Russia's Institute of Medico-Biological Problems launched a Foton-M4 satellite filled with five geckos into orbit so that the people of earth would know how reptile booty is impacted by zero-gravity. Unfortunately, the cold-blooded casanovas had a different plan: due to a technical glitch (or possible mutiny) the orbiting orgy has gone rogue.

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  9. SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Completes Successful Soft Landing on Earth From Outer Space

    Well, the planet Earth. It landed on water to prove it could land on actual earth.

    SpaceX's Falcon 9 reusable rocket is on the verge of making spaceflight much more economical. They've demonstrated its ability to liftoff, hover, and land safely for reuse in Earth's atmosphere, and just yesterday SpaceX released this video from Falcon 9's point of view as it reentered Earth's atmosphere and demonstrated it could land safely from space.

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  10. Newly Discovered Kepler-421b Has Longest-Known Year of Any Transiting Exoplanet

    One-million, thirteen-thousand, seven-hundred sixty minutes, how do you measure, measure a year?

    Kepler-421b orbits its star at a leisurely pace of making one trip around every 704 Earth days, or nearly half the speed the Earth moves around the Sun. That's not the slowest orbit we've found, but it's significant because Kepler-421b is beyond its star's "Snow Line," and it's a transiting exoplanet. Together those things mean we were incredibly lucky to find it at all.

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