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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. Juno Spacecraft Reveals Spectacular Cyclones At Jupiter's Poles
    The NASA has spotted enormous cyclones at the gas giant's north and south poles. The probe has also returned other data that have project scientists scratching their heads.
  2. Total Failure: When The Space Shuttle Didn't Come Home
    In Part 1 of the series Total Failure, a former NASA official recalls the disastrous mission of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003 and how the accident changed his life forever.
  3. Australian Fossils Hint At Where To Search For Life On Mars
    Scientists say the rocks lend weight to a theory that life on Earth originated, as Darwin wrote, "in some warm little pond" on land, suggesting we should look for it in similar environments on Mars.
  4. Secret U.S. Space Plane Lands With A Boom In Florida
    For a secret aircraft, the X-37B wasn't very stealthy about its return to Earth. The space plane was launched in 2015.
  5. NASA Has A Spacesuit Shortage
    NASA has only 11 spacesuits in use, and they were designed decades ago. Spacesuit designer Pablo de Leon tells Lulu Garcia-Navarro about how the shortage affects operations in space.
  6. Saturn: Cassini's Final Chapter
    After years, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will soon begin its final act — a plunge into Saturn. NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to Dr. Carolyn Porco, head of the imaging team, about the mission's legacy.
  7. Cassini Craft Beams Closest Images Ever Taken Of Saturn
    The spacecraft is "showing us new wonders and demonstrating where our curiosity can take us if we dare," NASA's planetary science director says.
  8. The North Korean Electromagnetic Pulse Threat, Or Lack Thereof
    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.
  9. Cassini Spacecraft Re-Establishes Contact After 'Dive' Between Saturn And Its Rings
    The Cassini probe has orbited Saturn for 13 years. This is the first time it entered the gap between the planet and its rings.
  10. Cassini Spacecraft Starts Weaving Between Saturn And Its Rings
    "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.
  11. Astronaut Peggy Whitson Breaks NASA Record For Most Days In Space
    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.
  12. Astronaut Peggy Whitson Sets NASA Record For Most Days In Space
    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.
  13. Photographers Name New Night Sky Lights
    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.
  14. Cassini Spacecraft Heads To Saturn
    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.
  15. In A New 'Anti-Science' Era, Bill Nye 'Saves The World' With Same Optimism
    "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.
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