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Odysseus becomes first U.S. spacecraft to land on the Moon since the ’70s

On July 20, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong changed history when he became the first human to set foot on the Moon. The Apollo 11 explorer famously proclaimed, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Sadly, Armstrong’s leap didn’t last for long. Three years later, the Apollo 17 mission became the last American expedition — manned or unmanned — from Earth to the Moon....

Originally posted on salon.com

NASA asteroid mission unveils a surprise moon orbiting Dinkinesh

The word “Dinkinesh” is Amharic for “marvelous,” and the small main belt asteroid Dinkinesh has lived up to its Ethiopian moniker: When the NASA spacecraft Lucy flew by what it had anticipated would be only one asteroid, it found two asteroids for the price of one.

“Dinkinesh really did live up to its name; this is marvelous,” Hal Levison, principal investigator for Lucy from the Boulder, Colorado, branch of the San-Antonio-based Southwest Research Institute, said in a statement....

Originally posted on salon.com

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....

Originally posted on salon.com

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....

Originally posted on salon.com