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Baumgartner in Final Preparations for Supersonic Freefall Attempt on October 9

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Skydiver, pilot and BASEjumper Felix Baumgartner will attempt to break the sound barrier in freefall on Tuesday, October 9, 2012, jumping from a capsule lifted by a giant balloon to 36,576 meters (120,000 feet). This is something that Baumgartner has been preparing for over the past five years, but his team says the time period he now finds himself — the last few hours before takeoff — might be the most challenging of all.

“I’ll pro...

Falcon 9 Experienced Engine Anomaly But Kept Going to Orbit

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During last night’s launch of the Dragon capsule by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, there was an anomaly on one of the rocket’s nine engines and it was shut down. But Dragon still made it to orbit – just a little bit later than originally expected. At about 1:20 into the flight, there was a bright flash and a shower of debris. SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk issued a statement about the anomaly saying:

“Falcon 9 detected an anomaly on one of the nine e

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Liftoff! SpaceX Launches First Official Commercial Resupply Mission to ISS

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Liftoff! SpaceX Launches First Official Commercial Resupply Mission to ISS

The launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket sending the Dragon capsule to orbit. Credit: KSC Twitter Feed

SpaceX has successfully launched the first official Cargo Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station. The commercial company’s Falcon 9 rumbled rocket to life at 8:35 EDT on Oct 7 (00:35 UTC Oct. 8) in a picture perfect launch, sending the Dragon capsule on its way in the first of a dozen operational missions to d...

Minute Physics: Real World Telekinesis

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Minute Physics: Real World TelekinesisHow do magnets affect things at a distance? How does the Sun heat our planet from 93 million miles away? How can we send messages across the world with our cell phones? We take these seemingly simple things for granted, but in fact there was a time not too long ago when the processes behind them were poorly understood, if at all… and, to the uninformed, there could seem to be a certain sense of “magic” about them.

This video...

Surreal Photos: CubeSats Launched from the Space Station

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Surreal Photos: CubeSats Launched from the Space Station

Three small CubeSats are deployed from the International Space Station on October 4, 2012. Credit: NASA

Five tiny CubeSats were deployed from the International Space Station on Thursday and astronaut Chris Hadfield called the image above “surreal” on Twitter. And rightly so, as they look like a cross between Star Wars training droids and mini Borg Cubes from Star Trek. The Cubesats measure about 10 centimeters (4 inches) on a side...

How to Steal a Space Shuttle

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How to Steal a Space Shuttle

For two days, from October 12 to 13, the shuttle Endeavour will be transported along 12 miles of road on the final leg of its journey to the California Science Center. During that time the orbiter will be the most publicly exposed as it’s ever been, a national treasure on the streets of LA. While this will of course be a well-orchestrated undertaking with the security of not only Endeavour but citizens and spectators being of utmost...

Curiosity Set for 1st Martian Scooping at ‘Rocknest’ Ripple

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Curiosity Set for 1st Martian Scooping at ‘Rocknest’ Ripple

Image caption: Context view of Curiosity working at ‘Rocknest’ Ripple. Curiosity’s maneuvers robotic arm for close- up examination of ‘Rocknest’ ripple site and inspects sandy material at “bootlike” wheel scuff mark with the APXS (Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer) and MAHLI (Mars Hand Lens Imager) instruments positioned on the rotatable turret at the arm’s terminus. Mosaic was stitched together from Sol 57 & 58 Navcam raw images and shows...

Weekly Space Hangout – Oct. 4, 2012

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It was a slow week on Space news except for the massive announcement that an ancient riverbed was discovered on the surface of Mars. We took a look at this as well as the historic 55th anniversary of Sputnik, a precise measurement of the expansion of the Universe, and more!

Stories:

Panel:Am...

Rare X-Ray Nova Reveals a New Black Hole in the Milky Way

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Rare X-Ray Nova Reveals a New Black Hole in the Milky Way

Swift J1745-26, with a scale of the moon as it would appear in the field of view from Earth. This image is from September 18, 2012 when the source peaked in hard X-rays. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/S. Immler and H. Krimm

Back in mid-September, the Swift satellite was going about its multi-wavelength business of watching for bursts of bright gamma-ray, X-ray, ultraviolet, or optical events in the sky, when it detected a rising tide of...