space
Launching Tonight: A Mission to the Best Planet (Mercury)

Mercury is the best planet, in my humble but well-researched opinion. Sure, it may be small, rocky, and lacking an atmosphere, but how it came to look the way it does absolutely baffles scientists. It might even have water and carbon hidden away from the beginning of the Solar System. Tonight, scientists from the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are launching a mission that could uncover some of the secrets of this mysterious rock. Read More >>

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Hayabusa2’s Mission to Touch Down on the Asteroid Ryugu Has Been Delayed Until 2019

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has delayed the touchdown of the main section of the Hayabusa2 probe on the asteroid Ryugu from this month until January 2019, Nature reported, after mission scientists determined that the Ryugu’s surface is rougher than expected and the landing needs more planning time. Read More >>

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Japan’s Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Successfully Deploys Landers to Asteroid Ryugu’s Surface

Two landers from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have successfully touched down on the Ryugu asteroid after separating from the Hayabusa2 probe in orbit, and have begun transmitting images from the space rock’s surface. Read More >>

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Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Captures First Close-Up Image of Ryugu Asteroid

Earlier today, Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft came tantalisingly close to Ryugu, offering an unprecedented view of the asteroid’s boulder-strewn surface. Read More >>

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Japanese Spacecraft Hayabusa2 Snaps Incredible Close-Up Image of Asteroid Ryugu

The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 has made some of its closest approaches to asteroid Ryugu yet, returning breathtaking images. Here you can see the an image of the asteroid from just six kilometres (3.72 miles) away. One pixel in the image is around 60 centimetres (1.9 feet). Read More >>

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Asteroid Mining Might Just Work—If Only We Can Land on the Dang Things

The Rosetta mission’s Philae lander descended toward the two-and-a-half-mile-wide comet at a human’s walking pace. For seven tense hours, scientists in Darmstadt, Germany monitored its radio signal. They would have no idea whether they’d done everything correctly until after the moment of touchdown. If all went well, the lander would press two harpoons into the dusty surface of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, sticking itself firmly in place. If not, well, Philae could bounce right off and be lost to space, or it could be sucked into a pit of soft dust. Read More >>

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Hell Yes, Japan’s Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Has Officially Entered Orbit Around the Ryugu Asteroid

After nearly four years of travelling through space, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft has successfully rendezvoused with the Ryugu asteroid, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency confirmed Wednesday. Let the next stage of this historic sampling-and-return mission begin! Read More >>

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Fantastic New View of Ryugu Asteroid Reveals a Distinctly Dice-Like Shape

The Hayabusa 2 spacecraft‘s latest photo of the Ryugu asteroid, taken from a distance of just 25 miles (40 km), shows for the first time surface features like boulders and craters, in addition to revealing the object’s unique dice-like appearance. Read More >>

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Japan Forced to Shut Down Two Cameras on Venus Probe

Following an unexpected energy surge, Japan’s space agency has hit the pause button on two of the five cameras aboard its Venus-orbiting Akatsuki spacecraft. It’s a bad sign for the troubled orbiter, which has been exposed to more radiation than anticipated. Read More >>

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A Japanese Effort to Remove Hazardous Space Junk Has Failed

An experimental Japanese mission to remove dangerous debris from orbit has ended in failure. It’s a frustrating setback given the mounting risks posed by the nearly two million bits of junk currently swirling around our planet. Read More >>

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We Finally Know What Happened to Japan’s Lost Black Hole Satellite

After a full month spinning out of control in space, Japan’s Space Agency has finally figured out how it lost control of Hitomi, a very expensive satellite that was hunting for black holes. This also means the agency will never get it back. Read More >>

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Japan’s Lost Black Hole Satellite Just Reappeared and Nobody Knows What Happened to It 

Earlier this week something happened to make Japan’s brand new Hitomi black hole satellite suddenly, mysteriously lose all contact with Earth. Now, we have video of it spinning wildly in space — and JAXA has also received a few odd, new messages. Read More >>

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No One Knows What Happened to Japan’s Lost £166 Million Black Hole Satellite

Last month, Japan launched a satellite it described as “essential” to unlocking the mysteries of the universe. This weekend, that £166 million satellite mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind only an ominous trail of debris and some cryptic messages behind. Read More >>

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Start Your Day With a Replay of Today’s Japanese Spacecraft Launch

At around 1pm BST this afternoon, Japan successfully launched an unmanned cargo vehicle, bound for the ISS. And man, watching spacecraft take off never gets old. Read More >>