Longest U.S. spaceflight record smashed thanks to space junk collision

Earth is encircled by millions of pieces of trash, called “space junk,” which orbit our planet and are the bane of astronomers’ existence. This garbage has had devastating impact on at least one American astronaut, Frank Rubio, who returned to Earth on Wednesday after space junk is suspected to have hit the International Space Station last year....

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NASA mission to return from asteroid as big as the Empire State Building that may one day hit Earth

On Sunday, September 24 at approximately 10:42 EST, a NASA mission known as OSIRIS-REx will return to Earth after having collected samples from an asteroid named Bennu. Some experts also predict that 159 years from now, there’s a good chance Bennu could collide with Earth.

Such an event would be extremely unlucky for life on this planet, with potential for catastrophic destruction....

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James Webb one year later: An astronomer discusses her favorite views of our universe

Dr. Michelle Thaller is perhaps the epitome of a hip NASA astronomer: An astrophysicist by background, Thaller emceed the 2022 broadcast that revealed the James Webb Space Telescope’s first science images to the world. The decision to choose her was logical, as Thaller also regularly talks astronomy on The History Channel and Science Channel....

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A highly anticipated Venus probe sees its funding slashed — and some scientists are very upset

NASA’s 2024 budget request includes a near-total reduction in funding for a highly anticipated Venus mission — and now, a number of prominent scientists are saying that the decision amounts to an effective cancellation of a highly anticapated mission to the second planet.

Yet not all space scientists and engineers agree with that assessment, saying that NASA budget critics are misusing the word “cancel.”...

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