Science 

Black Arrow: UK space rocket returns home from Australia

Image copyright Skyrora Image caption The Black Arrow is set to go on display in Penicuik, Midlothian later this month The UK’s only rocket to successfully launch a satellite into orbit is to be unveiled in Scotland after a 10,000-mile journey back home. The Black Arrow projectile had lain at its crash landing site in the South Australian outback for 48 years. Over time it was damaged by extreme weather and vandalism before space technology firm Skyrora stepped in. The historic rocket is set to go on display in Penicuik,…

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Technology 

Why your replacement heart could be made in space one day

Image copyright Gettyimages Image caption The International Space Station could become a factory for specialist materials Imagine a laboratory growing human hearts – and imagine that laboratory floating in space hundreds of miles above the surface of the Earth. That may sound like science fiction, but bizarre as it seems, it could bring new hope for transplant patients within the next decade. While about 7,600 heart transplants were carried out around the world in 2017, there’s a desperate shortage of organs, with thousands of people on waiting lists dying every…

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Science 

Russian scientists find defect in new heavy lift space rocket engine

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos is pictured at the ILA Berlin Air Show in Schoenefeld, south of Berlin, Germany, June 1, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch MOSCOW (Reuters) – Scientists have discovered a defect in the engines of Russia’s new flagship heavy lift space rocket that could destroy it in flight, an apparent setback to a project President Vladimir Putin has said is vital for national security. The Angara A5, which was test-launched in 2014, is being developed to replace the Proton M as Russia’s heavy lift…

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Science 

Spektr-R: Russia’s only space telescope ‘not responding’

Image copyright STR/AFP/Getty Images Image caption The Spektr-R radio astronomy observatory was sent into space in July 2011 Russia’s only space radio telescope is no longer responding to commands from Earth, officials say. Astro Space Centre chief Nikolai Kardashev said some of the Spektr-R satellite’s communication systems had stopped working. But it was still transmitting scientific data, RIA Novosti news agency reports. The telescope has been operational way beyond its expected five-year lifespan, Russia’s space agency Roskosmos says. Specialists had repeatedly tried and failed to fix the lost connection, Mr…

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Science 

Signals from space: Five theories on what they are

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A nebula of stars Mysterious signals have been picked up from distant galaxies. When fast radio bursts or FRBs, as they are called, reach Earth’s telescopes they shine brightly for a few milliseconds, then disappear. Astronomers have detected dozens over the past decade – and have just announced they’ve found more of them, including a rare repeating signal. We don’t know exactly what they are or where they’re from, but here are five suspects: A rapidly spinning neutron star When stars explode and die…

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Science 

Mysterious radio signals from deep space detected

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Artwork: A highly magnetised rotating neutron star. Astronomers say one of these could be a source of the signals Astronomers have revealed details of mysterious signals emanating from a distant galaxy, picked up by a telescope in Canada. The precise nature and origin of the blasts of radio waves is unknown. Among the 13 bursts of fast radio waves, known as FRBs, was a very unusual repeating signal, coming from the same source about 1.5 billion light years away. Such an event has only…

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Science 

What’s behind China’s space programme expansion

Image copyright AFP China is a relative late-bloomer when it comes to the world of space exploration. But just 15 years after it first sent an astronaut into orbit, China has become the first country to successfully land a robotic spacecraft on the far side of the Moon. And in the next decades it plans not only to build a new space station, but also a base on the Moon and conduct missions to Mars. Importantly, Xi Jinping, the country’s most powerful leader since Chairman Mao, has thrown his support…

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Science 

NASA space probe ‘phones home’ in landmark mission to solar system’s edge

(Reuters) – NASA’s New Horizons explorer successfully “phoned home” on Tuesday after a journey to the most distant world ever explored by humankind, a frozen rock at the edge of the solar system that scientists hope will uncover secrets to its creation. New Horizons Mission Operations Manager Alice Bowman of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is seen before a news conference after the team received confirmation from the New Horizons spacecraft that it has completed the flyby of Ultima Thule, January 1, 2019 at Johns Hopkins University Applied…

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Science 

NASA probe believed to have passed distant space rock on landmark mission  

ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) – A NASA explorer is believed to have reached the solar system’s outermost region early Tuesday morning, flying close to a space rock 20 miles long and billions of miles from Earth on a mission to gather clues about the creation of the solar system. FILE PHOTO: An artist’s impression of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, currently en route to Pluto, is shown in this handout image provided by NASA/JHUAPL. REUTERS/NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Handout The body is farther from Earth than any other that…

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Science 

NASA probe nears distant space rock for landmark flyby  

ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) – A NASA explorer is on track to reach the solar system’s outermost region by early Tuesday morning, when scientists expect it to fly by a space rock 20 miles long and billions of miles from Earth, the most distant close encounter of its kind. FILE PHOTO: An artist’s impression of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, currently en route to Pluto, is shown in this handout image provided by NASA/JHUAPL. REUTERS/NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Handout At 12:33 a.m. Eastern time (0533 GMT), the New Horizons…

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