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NPR Topics Space News

NPR coverage of space exploration, space shuttle missions, news from NASA, private space exploration, satellite technology, and new discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics.
  1. PHOTOS: Super 'Blood Moon' Wows
    A total lunar eclipse that coincided with a supermoon made the moon appear gigantic and red in the January night sky.
  2. Heads-Up For Sunday, A Super 'Blood Moon' Is On The Way
    Not only will the moon be particularly close to Earth, but it will also be bathed in a reddish light just before midnight Eastern time.
  3. China Tried To Grow Cotton On The Moon, But It Didn't Work
    The cotton seeds aboard a lunar lander had encouraged hopes that plants could grow on the moon. But days after China boasted of the experiment's success, the tender shoots died.
  4. Trump Unveils Ambitious Missile Defense Plans
    The strategy, reminiscent of the Cold War-era Star Wars program, calls for new sensors in space, updated missile interceptors and advanced weapons, including lasers.
  5. You Don't Look A Day Over 100 Million, Rings Of Saturn
    A new study shows that Saturn's rings are only 10 million to 100 million years old, much younger than the planet itself.
  6. Cotton Seed Sprouts In China's Lunar Lander
    A mini biosphere was sent up in China's Chang'e-4, which landed on the far side of the moon in early January. Photos show the small, green shoot of a cotton plant in a container aboard the spacecraft.
  7. Iran Is Preparing A Launch. But Is It For A Space Rocket Or A Missile?
    Iran says its intentions are peaceful, but the U.S. worries the planned launches are really about developing weapons — specifically, intercontinental ballistic missiles.
  8. SpaceX To Lay Off 10 Percent Of Its Workforce
    A spokesman said the reduction would not be necessary except for "extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead."
  9. Astronomers' New Tool May Help Solve Intergalactic Mystery
    Fast Radio Bursts are extremely powerful bursts of energy coming from far beyond the Milky Way. No one knows what's causing them but a new telescope in Canada should help find an explanation.
  10. Chinese Spacecraft Lands On Far Side Of The Moon
    Chinese scientists have landed a spacecraft on the far side of the moon. Rachel Martin speaks with Brown University planetary scientist James Head about whether it is a big milestone.
  11. A Look At The Methodical Plan China Has Laid Out For Space Exploration
    China's space program has landed a wheeled rover on the far side of the moon that's never seen from Earth. It's part of a systematic plan that the country has for space exploration.
  12. How China's Space Ambitions Fit Into Its Larger Geopolitical Strategy
    China's astronomical ambitions are not purely scientific. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with U.S. Naval War College Professor Joan Johnson-Freese about China's larger geopolitical strategy.
  13. China Becomes First Country To Land On Far Side Of Moon, State Media Announce
    Lunar lander Chang'e 4 successfully touched down on Thursday morning. China's Xinhua News published a photo it says was taken by the probe "on the never-visible side of the moon."
  14. Images Reveal A 'Snowman' At The Frigid Outer Reaches Of Our Solar System
    Scientists say Ultima Thule, a newly explored world out beyond Pluto, is a relic from our solar system's earliest days.
  15. News Brief: Government Shutdown, Russia Detains U.S. Citizen, NASA Probe
    Congressional leaders go to the White House for a border security briefing. A U.S. citizen is in Russian custody on suspicion of spying. And, NASA's New Horizons probe makes history.
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